kids with arthritis can do anything!

Juvenile Arthritis affects 3 in 1000 kids in Canada – making it one of the most common chronic conditions affecting children today. Even still JA is still relatively unknown and often misunderstood. For kids, this can lead to feelings of embarrassment, social exclusion and even bullying – all that for a child who is already dealing with a painful and largely invisible disease.

We believe that through better information in schools and awareness by peers, children who have JA can find hope and acceptance. Our Kids on the Block (KOB) show teaches kids (and educators) about friendship, inclusion and how to talk about any kind of ‘difference.’ The overall message is one of ability over disability – giving kids the chance to turn their focus back to being kids.

WHO ARE THE KIDS ON THE BLOCK?

KOB is a troupe of life-sized puppets that dress and act like real children. The program’s goal is to help raise awareness and understanding about what it’s like to live with JA and to illustrate some of the challenges a classmate with JA might be facing: pain, isolation, depression and mobility challenges.

KOB gives students the opportunity to ask their questions directly to the puppets, breaking down barriers and addressing serious topics (inclusion, health, disability) through a positive interactive experience. The puppets also help children feel positive about themselves, accept individual differences and learn valuable personal skills.

The KOB program is intended for Grade one to Grade Four and is approximately 45 minutes long.

WHERE DO WE PERFORM?

We’re on a mission to raise awareness about Juvenile Arthritis (JA) in every community where a kid is affected – in other words, all of them! Our KOTB show has now reached over 20,000 elementary school children and educators in Metro Vancouver and beyond. We’ve made successful road trips to several communities of BC including Prince George, Kelowna, Penticton, Vernon, Victoria and Merritt.

WHAT DOES IT COST?

This program is fully funded by Cassie and Friends, with the support of Mardon Insurance and Gore Mutual Insurance Company Foundation. All performances are are at no charge to schools.

If you would like more information about a performance at your school or an information package to share with the school principal, please contact: kob@cassieandfriends.ca

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