G. Scott Paterson
Past Chair Messages
Past Chairman’s Messages
Celebrating our 15th anniversary this August was a great milestone for Merry Go Round Children’s Foundation. The Kids, Cops & Computers program has blossomed from a cottage industry effort into a dedicated initiative that has, in the last two years alone, provided brand-new laptops, Internet connections (where needed), USB sticks, Norton Anti-Virus subscriptions and Toronto Police mentorship to more than 700 deserving kids in Toronto.
The Kids, Cops & Computers program is changing lives and Alumni President Ashley Juchawski is proof of that. Ashley, who received a state-of-the-art computer from the Program in its first year (1997), recently graduated from a US law school. She gave a speech at Inspiration 2011 telling the kids that her involvement with the Program gave her the determination and motivation to pursue her dreams and break down the obstacles that stood in her way.
Over the past 15 years, we’ve heard many stories similar to Ashley’s. Students, parents, teachers and police officers have all given testament to the positive impact that the Program is having on student lives. In a Program survey administered in 2011-2012, 93% of educators participating in the Program attested that our Kids, Cops & Computers program is improving student self-esteem and 80% said it’s improving student grades.
Over the years we have welcomed remarkable supporters who have contributed to the success of our Program. We are indebted to Chief William Blair for his commitment to the Program since its beginnings. Chief William Blair continues to believe that Kids, Cops & Computers is indicitive of a program that is consistent with the Toronto Police Service’s preventative policing policy. We are also indebted to Foundations such as the CIBC Children’s Foundation and Imperial Oil Foundation who have made outstanding financial contributions. The Toronto Police Service, the school boards, principals, teachers and our donors, board and volunteers, all make the the Kids, Cops & Computers program what it is today.
We are looking forward to an even brighter future and many more years of putting smiles on the faces of deserving kids
G. Scott Paterson
Vivian N., a Grade 10 student, describes the impact the Kids, Cops & Computers program has had on her:
At the time, the difference in hockey gear was the lens through which I made sense of my family’s challenged financial situation. Today, the gap between financially disadvantaged kids and their peers can be contextualized not through hockey gear, but through technology: kids are divided between those who have ready access to a computer and the Internet and those who don’t.
Through Merry Go Round Children’s Foundation’s Kids, Cops & Computers program, we hope to “level the playing field” for financially disadvantaged kids. The computer and Internet technology, paired with Toronto Police officer mentorship, is empowering our kids to pursue their goals and triumph over their obstacles.
With the support of the Toronto Police Service, the Toronto District School Board, the Toronto Catholic District School Board, volunteers, Board members and individual and corporate donors, V ivan’s success is made possible. On behalf of Merry Go Round Children’s Foundation, thank you for making success within reach for financially disadvantaged kids.
G. Scott Paterson
As medieval philosopher, Maimonides, once said “The greatest charity lies in helping people become self-sufficient.”
With our society becoming increasingly more dependent on technology, kids who cannot afford a computer and Internet connection are put at a disadvantage.
That is why, today, more than ever, we need to create programs that help connect kids, programs that give them the technology they need to compete with their peers before they lose interest in trying, programs that help them understand that they can still create a bright future for themselves regardless of their financial situation.
Through Merry Go Round Children’s Foundation’s Kids, Cops & Computers program, kids receive a brand-new computer and colour printer, cyber safety and computer training and most importantly, a Toronto Police officer volunteer ‘eBuddy’ mentor. Put together, the components of the Program materially assist kids in their educational pursuits and essentially in their confidence and ability to compete and succeed in a world that is pervaded by technology.
Merry Go Round benefits remarkably from partners and Program supporters. We are particularly indebted to Rogers, who supplies free Internet to those kids who do not have an existing connection, and to Chief William Blair for his commitment to the Program. Without the support of our Toronto Police Service volunteer eBuddies , the School Boards, principals, teachers and our Board and volunteers, the Kids, Cops & Computers program would not be what it is today.
Together we are helping kids help themselves to take action and make their futures brighter. We are helping them become self-sufficient and ultimately, as Maimonides said, this is the greatest gift.
G. Scott Paterson
When I reflect on the past twelve years I am very proud of Merry Go Round Children’s Foundation and our contribution to the community. We make a real difference in the lives of our Kids, Cops & Computers program students and their families.
As a young person today, if you don’t have a computer at home with access to the Internet how can you complete your home work? Surf the greatest encyclopedia (the Internet) in the world? Chat with your friends, family and peers?
Most of us take for granted access to technology and the Internet. Our world is digital and we expect connectivity. Sadly, for many kids in financially disadvantaged families, this digital connectivity is only a dream.
This is where Merry Go Round Children’s Foundation continues to make a difference by ensuring these kids get connected. As of today we have installed over 900 computers into the hands of deserving kids. Our goal is to do more, much more.
Late in 2009 we recruited a new Executive Director with a mandate to execute our 3 year strategic plan. We believe we have the staff and volunteer talent pool to make an even bigger difference. Our Board has endorsed a plan to grow to 500 computers per year within the next 3 years and to invest in our website such that it is fully integrated with our program and it is the centerpiece of how technology interacts with our kids.
We are very fortunate to have the support of premiere corporate partners, committed Board members and amazing volunteers who generously give of their time, talent and resources – 2,685 hours of volunteer time last year alone. On behalf of the kids who benefit, thank you to everyone who has made our success to date possible.
We welcome you to join us in some capacity.
Consider sponsoring a child to receive a computer, being a neighborhood or school volunteer!
Learn more about our Kids, Cops & Computers program at www.kidscopscomputer.org .
Help “connect” the kids!
G. Scott Paterson