A smiling child, sitting on a child-sized pink sofa, holding a bunch of pink balloons and a shiny heart candy. She is wearing a rainbow striped sweater.

Once upon a time, there was a wise little spark of imagination. It was tiny but shiny.

Day and night, it shone with possibility. It wafted wistfully in the wind until it was time to sprout. Meanwhile, it dreamed and learned and watched what the world was like for kids.

It saw lots of love and laughs. Those were wonderful!

It also saw some ugly ughs* that made kids feel sad. Those were horrible. Ugh.

The little spark wanted to empower kids by sparking joy, love, and laughs. It thought and thought.

How could it do that?

The spark was tiny, but shiny with wisdom and hope. It knew that all kids are amazing at heart. It knew that all kids hold great power inside. It knew that all kids are Superheroes. And that with specialized care, love, support, and know-how —with connection— the ugly ugh feelings could reshape into love and laughs and strength and joy to grow.

It thought for a while and then POW!

EmPOWERland logo. Tagline: Every child is a superhero
Bookcase shelves with toys (a unicorn, books, butterflies, llama, piggy, plant, cupcakes)at a Kids Reconnect playroom

The wise little spark had a fabulous idea: a safe, fun, respectful, playful land for kids called EmPOWERland, where kids explore and grow their Superpowers. The little spark grew in inspiration and know-how and created a plan. When it was ready, it flew into the realm of reality.

With a soft thud, it landed on a playfully purple tree branch at Kids Reconnect.

It took off its shiny shoes and hung up its shiny jacket. It inspired Marcella and Natalie (the Kids Reconnect Directors) to build EmPOWERland, a special place where kids would sparkle, grow, and shine.

They knew that every child is special and different – each one a Superhero in their own way.

Some kids like reading, some love to draw. Some kids are chatty or adventurous, while some prefer quiet games. And as kids grow over time, their likes and needs change. From toddlers to teens, in EmPOWERland they would enjoy a special adventure, exploring and growing their Superpowers.

A playroom with a purple tree mural, toy piggies with their Mom on a green floor pillow, and a pink table with a green vintage phone in the foreground.

Marcella and Natalie loved the idea and got to work right away. There were furniture and fabrics to select. Painting and decorating. Calls to make, photos to take, cookies to bake, and websites to web. An amazing KR Team to gather. A zoo of fluffy stuffies to review. There was so much to do.

Finally, one day EmPOWERland was ready!

A cartoon-style image of a mirror with a small KR logo

Now you might wonder:
what about the wise little spark?

Well, that’s our favourite part. The wise little spark is still sparkling in EmPOWERland, where it shines brightly on loads of Kid Superheroes. Its name is Mirror, and we can’t wait for what you will see there!

A special note for parents

About the “ugly ughs”

There is, of course, an official name for “ugly ughs”. Psychologists call these “adverse childhood experiences” and “childhood trauma”. Our experience has shown us that in the aftermath of even the most adverse childhood experiences and childhood trauma, there is always —always— hope. Hope not just for healing and growing, but for thriving.

Our child therapists have joined forces to offer Calgary kids and families support in a range of situations, from healthy families looking for a gentle nudge in the right direction, to cases of complex childhood trauma. We collaborate using a variety of specialized interventions, strategies, and approaches that are personalized to delight each child and fulfill their particular needs.