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July 2019

Back-to-School Support for Kids Living in Shelters

For children moving into a shelter, this often means moving to a new school. It’s always hard to be the new kid in the class, especially when you arrive part way through the school year. Nine-year-old Emma shares her story of participating in CDI's School Liaison Program. Read Emma’s story.


New Study on CDI Program Finds Meditation, Yoga and Martial Arts Help Kids Focus 

A new study led by Ryerson University suggests teens with learning disabilities and mental health challenges practicing a mix of meditation, yoga and martial arts can focus better. The researchers found, among other results, that the youth who participated in Child Development Institute’s (CDI) Mindfulness Martial Arts program (MMA) paid better attention to critical information in tasks at the neural level, even three months after they finished the program. Click here to read the full study.


CDI’s 2018-2019 Annual Report reflects our commitment to nurturing the children and families in our care and strengthening local and national communities through much-needed quality services. Click here to learn more about our highlights from the last year, and read feature stories on our programming.


Community Member of the Year: Vivien Cappe

The Community Member of the Year Award recognizes an individual or group who has gone beyond expectations to support CDI’s clients, staff, programs and services.
Vivien Cappe is the founder of the Mother’s Day project, which donates hundreds of gift baskets to mothers in shelters. She started the project while on the CDI Board of Directors and each year the amount of baskets and volunteers steadily increases. In addition, Vivien is a former CDI client and parent representative on the Board of Directors. Vivien continues to be an advocate for quality mental health programs and support for clients and their families. Vivien is a hard-working, committed and dedicated individual who is passionate about what she does. 

Click here to see all our 2018-2019 Award Winners!


Our Ambassadors are an important voice of our organization and do incredible work in the community and for the community. We are excited to share some of their amazing projects. Thank you!

Mental Health Empowerment Day
Organizer: Leanne Matlow, Panel Expert: Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Counsellor and Educator

Mental Health Empowerment Day is designed to empower all those who work or live with children and youth who are dealing with mental health issues, one of the most pervasive issues in the world today. This year’s event, on October 27, 2019, will explore the theme “What I wish you knew.” Get the full event details

Other Life Lessons

CDI Ambassadors Meaghan Hadwyn and Niki Snjaric, the creators of Other Life Lessons’ honest children’s books, have released three new books: New Baby Sad Mommy, Don’t Be a Quitter and Sunshine and Screen Time. $1 from every book purchased online is donated to CDI. 
When we donate we feel like we are creating a tiny ripple effect that we hope has a positive impact on as many children as possible.”
—CDI Ambassadors Meaghan Hadwyn and Niki Snjaric

Want to learn more about our CDI Ambassador Community?

Our Ambassadors have one thing in common: they believe in our mission, and are willing to share their passion and support to our organization with others. For more info, please contact Camila Pereira at, or 416-603-1827 ext. 2304.
Let’s give kids in shelters the support they need to have a great school year!
As we start to get ready for ‘back to school’, our children need your help. Children living in shelters face many new situations every day, and many of them are about to face entering a new school. 

Through our Family Violence Services – School Liaison Program, we give children ages 4 to 16 living in CDI partner shelters the help they need as they go to a new school.
Your donation of $45 to our Family Violence Services can help a child and their family receive the academic, emotional and social support they need for a smooth school transition.
Consider turning your donation into a monthly gift for a bigger impact, and support a child throughout the year.

Join our Monthly Donor Circle and be a part
of the community of change today!

Child Development Institute is an accredited, multi-service children’s mental health organization in Toronto, providing a range of services to children and youth aged 18 and younger, and their families. CDI is committed to responding to the unique needs of our clients through continuous process improvement, research and training. We serve approximately 3,000 children, youth and families each year.

Our mission is to make measurable lifelong impact on the mental health and well-being of children, youth and their families. Our vision is to transform the lives of children, youth and their families by developing and delivering world class, innovative, evidence-based mental health programs.

To learn more about all our programs and services, visit our website at
Copyright 2019 Child Development Institute, All rights reserved.

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