Press releases


My childhood dream… Children Believe launches “Chalkboards for Change” and encourages Canadians to help all children dream fearlessly

Dave Stell communications manager, 905.754.1001, ext.223
  • Children Believe is launching Chalkboards for Change events in Toronto, Calgary and Halifax
  • Canadians are invited to write their dream on chalkboards at the events and on our website
  • Participants will be entered in a draw to win a trip for two to the field to see how Children Believe supporters are helping children around the world make their dreams come true

My childhood dream… Children Believe launches “Chalkboards for Change” and encourages Canadians to help all children dream fearlessly

MARKHAM, Ont. — Remember your childhood dreams? They may have been silly or unrealistic, but they were inspirational and helped you believe anything is possible. Around the world today, many children have big dreams; however, for the more than 260-million children who do not get to go to school, many obstacles stand in the way of achieving their dreams. But it doesn’t have to be this way, and Canadians can help make a real difference. It starts with a simple piece of chalk.

Today, Children Believe — a Canadian charity that has helped more than one-million children around the world overcome barriers to education and other life essentials — launches “Chalkboards for Change,” a campaign to inspire positive action and to help children everywhere live and dream fearlessly.

Share your dreams, Canada!

Canadians are invited to spark change and share their own childhood dreams by writing them on a chalkboard — a symbol of education and a catalyst for change.

Up until 5:00 p.m. on April 15, Canadians can share their childhood dreams with the hashtag #ChalkboardsforChange on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, at, as well as by emailing or through larger-than-life chalkboards at public events in malls, including:

February 25-27, 2020 at the Toronto Eaton Centre

March 11-13, 2020 at Calgary’s Chinook Centre

March 25-27, 2020 at the Halifax Shopping Mall (postponed until further notice)

“Whether they live in Canada or abroad, all children have dreams for their future, and Children Believe wants every child to feel they can achieve those dreams,” says Dave Wilson, interim CEO, Children Believe. “Chalkboards for Change illustrates how education can help propel dreams into reality. We urge everyone to come together, share their childhood dreams, and join our mission to empower children to live and dream fearlessly.”

“My childhood dream…”

Children Believe gathered the childhood dreams of Canadian celebrities and influencers to inspire Canadians to share their own. James Duthie, TSN sportscaster and Children Believe volunteer ambassador, had a childhood dream to become a football player.

“I played high school football, was recruited by McGill University and was going there to play,” says Duthie. “At the last second, I realized I was a 5’10, 155-lb skinny guy with mediocre speed and probably no chance of playing in the NFL or CFL. I decided my best chance to get to the Super Bowl or Grey Cup was as a broadcaster, so I went to Carleton University for Journalism instead. I became a broadcaster, eventually got into sports, and here I am! A lot of people told me not to pursue sports broadcasting, because there weren’t many jobs and my odds of living out my dream were pretty low…but I didn’t listen. So there is a lesson on believing in yourself and your dreams, even if others doubt you. Even though my original dream didn’t come true, having a second dream or a back-up plan can be just as fulfilling.”

The popular Canadian recording group, The Strumbellas, are lending support to Chalkboards for Change through the use of their hit song, “One Hand Up.” This powerful anthem is the campaign theme song, featuring real Children Believe donors and an online video showing how we can all come together to make children’s dreams come true. Canadians can visit to watch the video and learn how they can help.

Susan Hay, anchor/producer broadcast journalist at Global News, had a childhood dream to work with children.

“From a young age, I knew I wanted to work with children, but I quickly learned that nothing in life goes according to plan. That being said, my career as a broadcast journalist has provided a platform for me to speak on behalf of those who cannot speak for themselves. A big part of my life and career has always been my charitable work — both at home and overseas. My charities have always revolved around children, including Ronald McDonald House and The Darling Home for Kids to name just a couple. So, even though my plan was to work with children in some form, I now feel I succeeded beyond my wildest dreams, lending my voice to help children in need.”

Inspire children to dream; witness dreams come true

Canadians can join with Children Believe to personally make a difference in a child’s life. Childhood dreams collected online and through community events will be shared with children and youth living in Children Believe’s global communities, through special events inspiring them to dream big.

Adults who share their childhood dreams at a community event, by emailing, or online at, will have a chance to win a trip for two to a Children Believe community to witness the charity’s work in action. They’ll also be invited to participate in a special community event inspiring children to pursue their dreams.
Sharing is caring:


Children Believe works globally to empower children to dream fearlessly, stand up for what they believe in — and be heard. For 60+ years, we’ve brought together brave young dreamers, caring supporters and partners, and unabashed idealists. Together, we’re driven by a common belief: creating access to education — inside and outside of classrooms — is the most powerful tool children can use to change their world.

Skip to content