A CityKidz Journey

What started in Hamilton as weekend drop-in session for a few dozen kids has grown into multiple programs and projects serving thousands of children and youth of all ages.

CityKidz programs are a stable force of love and support for kids from before they can read until well after they’ve written their final high school exams. We teach our kids that they matter, that they are loved, and that they can change their future – and with it, the world.

Each week, our big red buses pick up hundreds of kids at their homes and bring them to our downtown theatre for an interactive performance and a meal. Through songs and skits, our kids learn important lessons built on faith, hope and love that encourage them to believe in themselves, serve others, and have hope for the future.

We continue to walk with our children through their teenage years with programming focused on giving them the tools they need to grow into confident, capable, and caring adults. Our youth mentors offer wisdom and support, and impart practical life skills to help resilient teens realize their dreams.

Our Programs

KinderKidz

KinderKidz (Ages 3-5)
Foundations of Hope

At KinderKidz, we strive to fill the hearts and minds of the littlest members of our CityKidz family with BIG dreams.

Through songs, stories, and games, the KinderKidz Saturday program helps young hearts understand compassion and make good choices. We give our KinderKidz a foundation of love and hope and understanding that, through God, all things are possible.

KinderKidz brings the enthusiasm of our younger children to a space where they can experience the joy that plants the seeds of hope for their future.

CityKidz

CityKidz (Ages 6-11)
Life-Changing Experiences

CityKidz is more than just a kids’ program, it’s a transformative experience! On CityKidz Saturdays, our unique Studio Theatre becomes a magical place where dreams take flight, and children are free to soar above their adversities into a world without fear, without poverty, and without limits.

Each Saturday, songs and stories feed young minds and souls while a meal with friends nourishes hungry bellies.

Our flagship program gives children a solid moral foundation on which to support their dreams and aspirations. Here, children come to understand God’s grace, feel God’s unconditional love, and get a glimpse of God’s purpose for their lives. Through CityKidz Saturdays, we inspire children to dream beyond their circumstances so that one day they will reach their full potential.

CityKidz
CityYouth

CityYouth (Ages 12-15)
Faith, Leadership and Lifestyle

CityYouth builds on the relationships forged in CityKidz to demonstrate our continued love and support for kids as they enter their teenage years.

With a focus on developing and practicing leadership skills, this Wednesday evening program encourages its participants to serve their communities. At CityYouth, teens explore topics like identity, wisdom, faith and relationships.

Mentors connect with youth in small groups to work through the challenges in their lives and celebrate their achievements. This guidance and support helps youth grow into caring, resilient and mature young adults.

Jr. Leadership (Ages 12-17)
Leaders of the Future

Junior Leadership is a companion to our other youth programs centred on building faith and servant leadership.

The Junior Leadership program is a chance for youth to continue their participation with CityKidz in a way that gives back to the community.

Junior Leaders receive mentorship and support as they work with volunteer teams to help bring CityKidz programs to life. Each Junior Leader joins a CityKidz bus team under the leadership of a Team Captain and learns through hands-on experience what it takes to be a true servant leader.

Roadmaps to Dreams

Roadmaps to Dreams (Ages 16-17)
Launching Dreams

This mentorship program for CityYouth grads gives young adults the skills, tools, and strategies they need to transform their dreams into reality.

Through mentorship, teamwork, and hands-on experiences, this program helps our youth develop the essential life skills – like communication and budgeting – that they will need to successfully pursue meaningful employment or post-secondary education.

Education Fund

Education Fund
Supporting Post-Secondary Education

The Education Fund, made possible by the generous support of the Weston Family Foundation, is our way of supporting CityYouth and Roadmaps to Dreams graduates who pursue post-secondary education. It provides yearly financial support to help offset the costs associated with their continuing education.

To date, the Education Fund has been awarded to dozens of ambitious and hard-working youth studying everything from nursing to political science to construction engineering.

Education Fund

Our Core Projects

Weekly programs aren’t the only way we nurture and inspire our kids. We like to take every chance we can to celebrate, nurture, and connect with our kids, and our Core Projects allow us to do just that. These weekly and annual events are special opportunities for us to build relationships and bring positive experiences to our children throughout their CityKidz journey.

Home Visits

Home Visits
Trust and Community

Home Visits are a chance for us to nurture personal relationships with every child in the CityKidz community. They give us a unique opportunity to role model our truths and beliefs, and truly demonstrate that we care.

A Home Visit consists of CityKidz volunteers stopping briefly at each child’s home, connecting with their family, and talking with the kids about the things most important to them.

Through Home Visits, we get to truly know our kids and serve their needs – whether that means an encouraging word before a science fair presentation or connecting their family with local resources and services.

These weekly catchups help build firm, faithful foundations into the lives of the children we serve.

Gift of Christmas

Gift of Christmas
Making the Season Merry and Bright

This project is specially designed to help offset the pressures associated with buying gifts that many low-income families experience during the Christmas season.

Through the Gift of Christmas, our kids receive a Christmas meal with their CityKidz friends, a festive party, and a carefully-selected, hand-delivered gift by Christmas Eve.

More than just stocking stuffers, we want to make wishes come true during the holiday season.

Gift of Christmas – more than any other CityKidz project – rallies the entire Hamilton community together to bring a smile to a child’s face and hope to their heart.

Operation Birthday Child
Celebrating Children

If there’s one thing kids love to celebrate, it’s their birthday.

Operation Birthday Child is an opportunity for us to reinforce our message that each child matters, and that each child is specially created with purpose and potential.

Once each month during the regular CityKidz Saturday season, a party is thrown in honour of the children who are celebrating birthdays. On that Saturday, each birthday child receives a sweet treat and a present, hand-picked for them by their captain. We make it known to all just how special each child is. The kids love it, and so do we!

Summer to Remember
Inspiring Adventures

Summer – perhaps more than any other season – has the potential to provide experiences that produce life-changing moments and long-lasting memories. It is a time of adventure and discovery, of growth and curiosity.

However, for many of our CityKidz families, financial barriers keep kids’ summer adventures contained to their immediate low-income neighbourhood.

CityKidz’ Summer to Remember works alongside local camps to provide children with opportunities for new, life-changing and memory-making experiences at summer camp.

Volunteers Transform Lives

Whatever your time, whatever your talents, you can make a transformative difference in a child’s life.

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    COVID-19 Programming

    Our regular programming was put on pause in March 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. Since then, we have been providing an alternative program experience to connect and shine faith, hope and love into our community.