June 1, 2015, was our inaugural Proud to be Me Fun Day. 150 children from around the city took part in an awesome day comprised of youth empowerment workshops, guest speakers and fun play at Funhaven (be sure to check out the video below).
As the 150 children gathered first thing in the morning, I noticed a sea of grey t-shirts that all said Proud to be Me on the front. All children had smiles on their faces, excited to start their day. As I watched them, my hope was that they would leave at the end of the day realizing how special and awesome they all were and could walk out owning what it said on their shirts and say “I am Proud to be Me.”
The day was kicked off with speaker extraordinaire, Master Phil Nguyen. He energized the group with his talk about the 9 treasures to self-confidence, self-esteem and strength of character (from his book Bully Busters and Beyond). His talk was lively combining his taekwon-do skills and knowledge with an empowering message that left the kids inspired and ready for the day ahead.
The day was filled with empowering workshops, free play (on awesome Funhaven games), lunch and snacks, laser tag along with a large dose of inspiration. Kids learn best by having fun so we made sure to mix the fun in with the mindfulness.
During the various workshops children learned much from different facilitators (thank you to Master Phil who helped me with the following descriptions since he had a chance to check them all out).
Author Amanda Bernardo and illustrator Samantha Clusiau-Lawlor of Little Voice, taught children to listen to their Little Voice to guide them, encourage them, and inspire them to be happy and successful.
Josée Lindsay (myself), author of Super Spark, encouraged children to accept themselves, dream big, be kind to one another and discover their inner superhero.
Drama teacher Jennifer Laale inspired children to have confidence and build life skills through improv and drama so they can be their best.
Artist Kate Ryckman brought out the creativity and sense of self-expression in children through a fun art project.
Ann Jarvis helped children learn how to be more present and live fully through mindfulness.
Helen Georgaklis from Kids Write Network empowered children to express themselves and develop leadership skills through the process of writing and becoming authors.
Yoga teacher Jenn Leblanc helped children connect to their body, mind and spirit as they flowed through yoga poses and breathing techniques.
And the day came to a close beautifully with an inspirational talk from former NFL player Mark Hatfield. Through his personal and very entertaining story we all learned to persevere and never give up, to put a game plan for success in place and go after our dreams.
The inaugural Proud to be Me Fun Day was a success. You could feel the positive energy flowing all day. Children had fun, were inspired and made new friends.
We’d like to thank all of the 150 participants who came and shared their day with us. It was all about them and nothing makes us happier here at PTBM than making kids feel good about themselves. I think we did indeed create a day where all were able to accept themselves and leave with their heads held high, able to say...I am proud to be me!
Thank you to our many guests, workshop facilitators, volunteers, sponsors and team members for helping us with the day. We could not have done it without you!
Stay tuned for our blog in August where we will feature workshops for schools associated with PTBM as well as information on how to apply for grants for your school.
On behalf of PTBM, thank you for your support.
Josée Lindsay is an author, an inspirational speaker and a member of the Proud to be Me Board of Directors. To find out more visit: http://www.superspark.ca/
Check out some of the day's highlights!