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September 6, 2022

Lost & Found: Pandemic Stories of Discovery as Told by Kids in Canada

Program Information

The Canadian Children’s Literacy Foundation (CCLF) invites organizations from across Canada to apply to be a Community Delivery Partner in the delivery of a new program Lost & Found: Pandemic Stories of Discovery as Told by Kids in Canada (formerly known as "In My Words").

The program will take place this fall and we are seeking community-based not-for-profit organizations that serve culturally diverse children and their families, to deliver 4 workshop hours before April 31, 2023. These workshops can be run by the community organization as a distinct program initiative or as part of their existing programming. CCLF will compensate a select number of organizations for their participation by providing $100 per child participant. Organizations interested in the program can apply here.

CCLF is working in partnership with a diverse coalition of mental health and children-serving organizations to develop a curriculum and an easy-to-use story making workshop toolkit for organizations. The toolkit will provide everything you need to run this workshop series and will guide your staff through providing a forum for children to identify, shape, and share their own pandemic narrative.

In so doing, these children will build their sense of self, resilience, literacy skills, and their connection to their communities and, more broadly, Canada.

We know that for children and their families, the COVID-19 pandemic has been a struggle. Lockdown measures and their knock-on effects have affected children’s mental and physical health, educational attainment, and connections to community yet the stories of children, in their own words, have been largely absent from our collective narrative. This program, which is supported by the Canadian Heritage department of the Government of Canada, will be an opportunity to embed the pandemic experiences and feelings of Canadian children in this country’s history.

As a Community Delivery Partner, you will:

  • Deliver 4 workshop hours to with all workshops to be completed by April 31, 2023 and will receive $100 per participating child in return.
  • Provide age-appropriate curriculum (provided to you by CCLF) for children between the ages of 0 and 12 (with parents/caregivers as the primary storyteller for the youngest children). The workshops could be offered as a separate program or as part of the organization’s existing programming (eg., afterschool care, daycare, community story time program, etc.).
  • Identify a facilitator(s) to lead the workshops. The facilitators can be educators that already work with the community, including, for example, an early childhood educator providing childcare in a daycare centre, an educator in an afterschool program, or an educator leading weekly drop-in session for families. An easy-to-use toolkit will be provided to you for your workshop facilitator(s).
  • Engage a local author, artist or illustrator to help facilitate the workshops where possible (additional funding of $400 is available for this engagement).
  • Record the number of children and families participating in the workshops and gather their feedback on the experience.
  • Contribute to a commemorative digital exhibition by providing photos and audio and/or video footage of the program in action. Personal smart phone cameras will suffice and tips and guidance will be provided to you.
  • Collect finished stories and artwork through a memory box (provided by you) and sharing some of these works of art digitally with CCLF through an easy-to-use digital delivery system (guidance and support will be provided to you).
  • Collect consent waivers or media release forms (forms will be provided to you) that will allow CCLF to commemorate and publicize some of the stories through media engagement, in-person or digital exhibitions, and/or for evaluation purposes.
  • Use social media channels and community networks to support and promote this national campaign that will inspire children and their families from across the country in sharing their pandemic stories (ads, posters and promotional materials will be provided). Promotion will help recruit participants and will enable the local community to view the finished artwork of those who wish to share publicly.
  • Complete a short post-event evaluation around your participation as a Community Delivery Partner.
  • Optional:
    • Consider helping to identify families willing to be interviewed about their pandemic experiences.
    • Consider hosting an exhibition or community event to physically showcase the children’s finished artwork (additional funding is available for this).

About the workshops:

The Lost & Found workshops will empower and support children and their families to reflect on, create and share their own unique pandemic stories. Through organizations like yours, more than 5,000 children will participate in these workshops, reaching every province and territory. Workshops can be delivered in English or French and consideration will be given to offering the workshops in other languages as well.

Story making will be the primary theme of the workshops which could take the form of written prose, poetry, drawing, audio/video or other art form. Children and families will have the opportunity to create their story (with guidance), edit and refine their work and present the finished works of art to the group if desired.

While we seek to collect a diverse and robust range of pandemic narratives to help share broadly the experiences of children over the last few years, we appreciate that some children/families may want to participate in the workshop and keep their finished products private. We welcome the opportunity to discuss what you feel is the right approach for your community in terms of sharing narratives publicly.

To apply, click here.

For more information, check out the FAQ section here.