This month, we focus on CDI's merger with Integra, the progress of our "SNAP Explosion" and our participation in Giving Tuesday.
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At Camp Towhee, Children and Adolescents with Learning Disabilities and Mental Health Issues Feel Accepted and Confident
Some children and youth with learning disabilities may not succeed at a traditional camp. Camp Towhee provides them with a safe, supportive environment and appropriate individualized programming.
As of October 1, 2014, CDI is now delivering programs previously offered by the former Integra Foundation. The Integra Program provides innovative, evidence-informed, therapeutic programs and services to children, youth and their families who are dealing with mental health issues complicated by learning disabilities.

Camp Towhee, one of Integra’s long-standing programs, is a residential therapeutic summer camp for kids ages 10 to 18 with learning disabilities and related psychosocial difficulties (LDMH).

Since 1968, the Camp has hosted more than 4,800 campers who have participated in adventure-based learning programs complete with canoe tripping, waterfront activities, music, art, a high ropes course and a climbing wall.

According to Integra Director Marjory Phillips, “Research on the outcomes of Towhee suggests that campers show improvements in self-confidence, social competence, and increased resiliency and skills to manage intense emotions and behaviors.” 

One such camper was Steven Hamel, who spent two summers at Camp Towhee.

“Surrounded by children just like him, Steven – for the first time in his life – didn’t have the stress of feeling different,” reflects Steven’s dad, Mike Hamel. “He was just one of the crowd. At Towhee, campers could just be ‘normal,’ and address their issues together while developing their skills,” he said.

Several years after his summers at Towhee, Steven died in a tragic accident at the age of 24, and since then his father has committed to fundraising each year for Camp Towhee through the annual Steven Hamel Celebration of Life.

As Mike Hamel puts it, “We want to make sure other kids can have the same chance to transform their lives.”

On September 24, 2014, family and friends came to celebrate Steven’s life and donate over $6,000 to Towhee. The annual event has raised over $33,000 to-date in support of program equipment for the camp.

The CDI team is very grateful to the Hamel family for its very generous support of Camp Towhee. 

To learn more, visit CDI’s website.

Children Across Canada Learn to Stop Now and Plan
More than 100 organizations have replicated SNAP in the last 20 years and have reached over
10,000 children. 
In our March newsletter we told you that CDI’s SNAP® (Stop Now And Plan) program was chosen by the Pecaut Centre for Social Impact as their inaugural partner as they pioneer the venture philanthropy model in Canada. The Pecaut Centre will combine market leading professionals and strategic investors with SNAP to create massive social change. Our “SNAP Explosion” is moving forward, with the goal of making SNAP available to an additional 20,000 high-risk children across Canada over the next five years.

“The primary goal of SNAP is to keep children and youth in school and out of trouble,” said Dr. Leena Augimeri, Director of Scientific and Program Development and the Centre for Children Committing Offences at CDI. “SNAP currently reaches approximately 4,000 children through SNAP Boys, SNAP Girls and SNAP for Schools, which is only 5 per cent of the identified need. Through our planned expansion we hope to reach eight times more high-risk children and their families across Canada, building lifelong skills at an early age.”

We now have a SNAP Campaign Cabinet in place led by Co-Chairs Lyn Baptist and Janet MacPhail, with Honorary Chair Margaret McCain. The goal is to raise $12 million for the SNAP Explosion to help realize our goal of reaching more children and their families across Canada who need help. SNAP is completing its capacity-building phase and beginning to scale-up by working with community-based organizations across Canada that are interested in adopting our proven model for children with behavioural problems, and their parents. The core essence of SNAP is teaching children how to regulate their emotions, use effective self-control and employ problem-solving skills.

To learn more about SNAP, visit our website.
Make an Impact this December with #givingtuesdayCA
You don't have to be a world leader or a billionaire to give back. Giving Tuesday is about ordinary people coming together to do extraordinary things. 
On Tuesday, December 2, 2014, CDI will be one of thousands of Canadian charities participating in #givingtuesday, a movement for giving and volunteering that takes place after Cyber Monday. Now in its second year, the Canadian Giving Tuesday movement encourages charities, companies and individuals to join together to share commitments, rally for their favourite causes and think about others.

Through Giving Tuesday, we hope to raise $5,000, which would fund the participation of one child -- and her parents -- in the SNAP Girls program for one year. 

Engage with us on Facebook and Twitter to learn more about how your contributions can make an impact on the lives of children and youth. 
We are very grateful for your support. To donate to SNAP, click here

In the News

Photo credit: Fast Company
Fast Company: How to Raise Girls to be Better at Negotiating

What if we raised girls to help them both master negotiation skills and navigate the challenges? Would that help us raise a generation of women who are more likely to succeed by the time they need to ask for what they’re worth?

See what Erin Rajca, the Manager of our SNAP Girls Program, has to say about raising girls to be better negotiators.

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