Amplifying the Voices of Today’s Youth

On October 7th, Ogden Community School was the proud host of a non-profit book launch to help raise awareness of Child Abuse Prevention Month. Dilico Anishnabek Family Care visited the school for their annual Step Up campaign which empowers children to speak up for themselves and speak up for others when faced with a challenging situation, particularly child abuse.

It is Dilico’s 13th annual celebration of their Step Up initiative and this year’s theme is “Finding Your Voice”. Ogden Community School and Dilico believe in encouraging youth to value themselves and know the difference between being safe and unsafe. Together, they also promote a culture of care and community.

The new book, How I Found My Voice, was written for Primary-aged children, approximately 4-6 years old, and features the story of a young Indigenous child learning to become confident and exploring their community. How I Found My Voice was written by Meghan Gagliardi, Child Welfare Manager at Dilico, and illustrated by local community partners including local artist Lisa Westermann. The book was self-published by Dilico Anishnabek Family Care and all proceeds of the book sales will be donated to Mazinaajim Children’s Foundation.

“I’m so honoured to have been a part of creating this book,” says Meghan. “Through an easy to follow narrative and beautiful illustrations, this book is meant to remind all children that they have a voice and guide those who may not yet know their own strength. As Child Abuse Prevention Month approaches, it’s important for us to encourage youth to use their voices to speak up for themselves and their peers.”

Principal of Ogden Community School, Shannon Jessiman, was thrilled to celebrate this notable annual event with a community partner which is consistently dedicated to the wellness of students. “It’s really important for all students to know how to find their voice and this book is a wonderful tool to help them do just that. We look forward to having copies of the book in the school and having kids read it and do activities,” said Jessiman.

Dilico Anishnabek Family Care regularly visit schools to offer a wide range of services and programs to support Indigenous children and families and help bring wellness into homes.