What It Is
For 30 years, LAUNCH has enabled youth from ages 13 to 20-something to coach, teach, and train children participating in KITS, an evidence-based performing arts program. Based on current developmental peer-reviewed research, LAUNCH allows youth to discover their leadership strengths in a practical, hands-on setting. Together, the youth of LAUNCH and the children of KITS form a community mimicking an ancient human village. In these villages, people of all ages developed crucial skills and vital cultures together. The benefits of this program are powerful and long-term—so much so that early program graduates have begun to enroll their own children in LAUNCH.
“My two children have been going KITS every summer for 9 years and have been provided with opportunities to learn communication skills, to learn to take risks and to learn to engage in a meaningful and collaborative process with children and youth… This program offers such a rich experience for young participants, all the way to youth leaders, and it is unparalleled in our community.”
“Maddy was 8 years old when we started attending KITS. They say it “takes a village to raise a child” and KITS was part of our village. Maddy felt fully accepted for who she was and that is not always the norm in society. Her Dad and I are so grateful that she has had this safe place to learn and grow and now give back! KITS helped me to be a better parent… knowing when to hold on and when to let go and to let go gracefully as she grew up. I met parents who shared the same feelings and thoughts and sharing these made the journey more special and not as scary or alone! The week at Haven also allowed me to recharge and that was priceless.
Thank you Denise for all you have done over the years to help these children become well-rounded loving adults. KITS prepares them for the outside world in a loving, supportive environment. IMMEASURABLE.
Mary Ann Marchildon
“I was first introduced to KITS as a participant along with my 3 siblings, 28 years ago. We attended for many years and it was ALWAYS the highlight of our summer and something we looked forward to all year.
My best friend, who I met at KITS 28 years ago, and I now bring our 2 young kids to KITS (along with our moms and my sister and her daughter!), and again this is a highlight that we all look forward to each year! I am always amazed and grateful to see the strong friendships our kids form with the other participants and the very talented interns and I love witnessing the remarkable areas of growth they go through within those 5 days. KITS is now a legacy tradition for our families that I feel very honoured to be a part of.”
“As a grandparent I am so keen to provide opportunities that foster independence, creativity, compassion, friendships of all ages, confidence, all in an environment of healthy living and relationships to my granddaughters that I feel privileged to be a part of the KITS adventure… all that happens in our 5 day sojourn is a wonder. The memories will last a lifetime. “
“As a family, we have been attending the Kids in the Spotlight program for the past 5 years. The program has helped our daughter to develop a level of confidence in an environment of recognition and acceptance, and offers ongoing opportunities for her growth. Denise Goldbeck offers her knowledge and experience of child and adolescent development and has intentionally woven this into the program – for the children as well as the teen leaders… It is very meaningful to me that my daughter is now able to have her own experience at this very special place.”
How It Works
LAUNCH is a powerful leadership development process that begins with learning.
Our LAUNCH youth leaders take part in deep self-reflection, self-expression, experiential learning, and leadership exercises. They learn developmental models, communication skills, and coaching techniques.
Next, they take what they’ve learned and apply it to a real-world situation by supporting the children participating in the KITS program. KITS, or Kids in the Spotlight, is a 5-day performing arts program that enables kids of all ages to gain social skills and self-confidence by creating a musical production. LAUNCH youth leaders coach, teach, train, and supervise KITS kids, helping them to explore their creativity in therapeutic, life-changing ways.
Activities that Build Dynamic Leadership
LAUNCH youth leaders take on leadership roles in both small and large groups. They facilitate discussions. They lead activities like games, acting, and dancing. They teach lessons on respect, friendship, and boundaries. Along with honing their group facilitation skills, youth leaders learn and practice creative skills in theatre, including script-writing, music editing, costume and prop preparation, lighting, stage management, choreography, and directing
• Excellent work experience with both children and peers
• Support for moving into paid employment or other volunteering avenues (including references)
• Support for moving into post-secondary education
• An understanding of their own personal leadership style
• Conflict transformation strategies
• Volunteering experience, satisfying secondary school graduation requirements
• Increased confidence
• Greater self-awareness
• Leadership capabilities
• Communication and social interaction skills
KITS: Helping kids thrive
Kids in the Spotlight (KITS) is the innovative, evidence-based performing arts program that LAUNCH leaders help facilitate.
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Ⓒ Kids in the Spotlight