MEDIA RELEASE – 18 October 2022
$55,600 Ontario Trillium Foundation Grant Gives LaunchPad Major Upgrades
Brantford, ON – On Tuesday, October 18th, 2022, local MPP Will Bouma met with the team at Kids Can Fly to hear more about the $55,600 Resilient Communities Fund from the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) that was used to acquire durable, creativity-inspiring equipment for Kids Can Fly’s LaunchPad program. The program was completely retrofitted in September 2022 and gives caregivers and children in the community the opportunity to engage in activities that spur on children’s brain development in areas including creativity, fine motor skills, gross motor skills, and communication abilities.
“Kids Can Fly is a wonderful charitable organization, helping to promote early childhood development,” said Brantford-Brant MPP Will Bouma. “I am pleased they have received this Trillium Grant to enable them to strengthen their Launchpad and Parachute programs.”
In addition to the LaunchPad program, which is geared toward children ages 0-5 and their caregivers, the equipment is also accessible to caregivers and infants in the Parachute program, which provides much needed support to first-time mothers as they adjust to the demands of parenting. Additionally, some of the equipment is being shared with the kindergarten program at Centennial-Grand Woodlands Public School, where the programs are located. This includes a sun shelter for the outdoor play area and a variety of high-quality play equipment.
“This particular grant was such an opportunity for our organization,” said Becca McLellan, Executive Director with Kids Can Fly. “This grant has allowed us to complete major equipment upgrades which we may not have otherwise been able to afford, since we are a charitable organization that does not charge clients for services.”
The LaunchPad program is committed to preserving this space and ensuring that it remains accessible for many families for the foreseeable future. The LaunchPad program is one of several Kids Can Fly initiatives that seeks to foster wellness and healthy development in children in Brantford and Brant County. Other programs include the Dolly Parton Imagination Library, the Parachute Program, the Storybook Breakfast, Sensory Storytime, and the upcoming ECE Awards Celebration.
The Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) mission is to build healthy and vibrant communities across Ontario. As an agency of the Government of Ontario, and one of Canada’s leading granting foundations, last year, OTF invested nearly $209M into 2,042 community projects and partnerships, which included funding for the Government of Ontario’s Community Building Fund.
Left to right: Cynthia Andrews, Chair of the Kids Can Fly Board, Becca McLellan, Kids Can Fly Executive Director, Chelsea Noiles, OTF volunteer, Jane Flinders, R.E.C.E & Launch Pad Facilitator, Will Bouma, MPP Brantford-Brant