Kids come first at after-school program funded by Cause We Care


Playtime at Kids First in Hastings Elementary in Vancouver

Nutritious snacks, homework support and a run around are all on the agenda for the 60 kids who take part in the Kids First after-school program at Hastings Elementary in Vancouver. Every week day between 3-6pm the children are supervised by six volunteers, many of whom took part in the program themselves as youngsters. Kids First is aimed at providing the city’s most vulnerable students with academic, social, and emotional support in a safe and welcoming environment.

On a rainy Wednesday afternoon the kids are busy helping each other with homework, teaching each other a new board game, playing a spirited game of badminton with birdies flying around the gym or tucking into carrot sticks and oranges for a snack.

Vancouver based charity Cause We Care donated $76,100 yesterday towards Kids First after-school programming at Hastings Elementary and have pledged $251,475 of funds to four Vancouver schools, including Hastings Elementary, to enable them to continue their Kids First after-school programs over the next three years. CWC initially funded a pilot after-school program in 2013 at Thunderbird Elementary and this year, solely funded by CWC, the school has been able to expand their Kids First program from four to five days a week.

“After-school programs like Kids First are a community effort,” says Donna Emeno, Principal at Hastings Elementary. “We appreciate the support of organizations like Cause We Care. This donation will help many of our students, and students at other schools, with safe after-school care. Kids First is an incredible resource for families in need — providing snacks, homework support and supervised physical activity — and we are so pleased to accept this generous donation from Cause We Care.”

CWC is also funding a pilot program at Queen Alexandra Elementary. At Macdonald Elementary and Hastings Elementary — where the program has been running for 12 years — CWC stepped in and funded their shortfall, whilst committing additionally for 2015/16.

“At Cause We Care Foundation we have expanded our mandate from providing essential supplies through our hamper drives and subsidized housing through YWCA Cause We Care House to after-school programming,” says Andrea Thomas Hill, Founder and Chair of CWC. “After-school programs support single mothers who may not be able to leave work to pick up their child at 3pm and it also assists children in need, regardless of whom their parents are.”

For more information about Cause We Care and to find out how you can help, visit the website at


Cause We Care founder Andrea Thomas Hill learns a new board game with the children


Cause We Care founder Andrea Thomas Hill listens to a book being read in the homework room


Keeping track of the kids at Kids First at Hastings Elementary in Vancouver


Getting creative at Kids First


Pictured L-R Christopher Richardson (Trustee Vancouver Board of Education), Donna Emeno (Principal, Hastings Elementary), Jennifer Scott (Community Schools Coordinator), Michelle Jankovich (Cause We Care Board Member), Andrea Thomas Hill (Cause We Care Founder & Chair)