In June 2017, KaRAR’s production program brought the story of Cinderella to stage.  Through this theatrical production, the studio’s theme over the entire dance year was to ‘Have Courage and Be Kind’ in all aspects of life – whether it be in dance class, through students’ various roles in Cinderella, at home, at school, and/or through interactions in our community.  Moving beyond Cinderella, KaRAR chose to continue this theme by inspiring kids in government care in our community to have courage through the our studio students’ acts of kindness.

KaRAR’s COURAGE AND KINDNESS PROJECT mobilized KaRAR’s studio family to actively support kids in need throughout the Parkland region. According to the Government of Alberta, in this province alone over 7,000 children reside in government care. The County of Parkland is not immune to this statistic. Many of these youth move their belongings in garbage bags – having no bag to call their own. Many also enter new homes with little bedding of their own. KaRAR’s plan was to collect and assemble ‘Kids Care Packages’ that would ultimately provide practical supplies and, more importantly, support and encouragement to kids in foster and group care in our community. Physically, care packages were assembled (using suitcases filled with a special pillowcase and new blankets). Emotionally, each care package also contained handwritten letters and artwork from our studio’s students to children in government care, with the intent of lending encouragement and support. This emotional contribution to the physical aspect of the care package will have hopefully reminded youth in transition that they are valued and cared for by our community.

By helping our students at KaRAR Performing Arts better understand the tangible needs present in our community, and giving them an opportunity to demonstrate kindness and leadership, KaRAR believes that the Courage and Kindness Project helped expand the borders of our studio family. The project educated KaRAR’s students about the importance of having empathy for others despite the different life experiences each of us may have. Moving forward, all of this has positively impacted the way that our students will interact with other members of their community for the rest of their lives.

Simple acts of kindness and encouragement can have lasting effects on those giving and those receiving; we all need each other’s support to be the most successful we can be. Supporting and encouraging children in need in our community is an important step to growing the health and connection of all of our youth. KaRAR’s Courage and Kindness Project has reminded us all to ‘Have Courage and Be Kind’

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