(Windsor, ON) – The Bill & Dot Muzzatti Child & Family Centre opened in 2013 is an innovative wing of the Windsor-Essex Children’s Aid Society’s (WECAS) Riverside Drive headquarters. This physical space offers numerous rooms focused on nurturing children, empowering youth and strengthening families. Some of the programs that make this facility one-of-a-kind include: Music and Art Enrichment, Infant Stimulation, a Teaching Kitchen, Homework and Mentorship and a room dedicated to teens. Thanks to the Smilezone Foundation, these rooms have been transformed into child-friendly zones. Complete with bright colours, vibrant murals, furniture and equipment, four areas have come alive offering an even more inviting environment for those attending the Centre.
The office of the Youth Advisory Committee (Y.A.C.) is one of these zones. The Y.A.C. Group, consisting of children and youth ages 12 to 18 in the care of the Society, is a highly active and involved group who come together on a regular basis to support each other, advocate on their own behalf, and to advocate on behalf of other youth in care. The group, which plans fun activities and events for children in care, also advises the Society on how current services or planned services being provided impact them.
The new renovation has converted a room into a lounge-like environment. The theme is “Stars and Celebrities” incorporating a Hollywood style “Green Room” environment. There are new comfortable couches, iPad docking stations, and murals that exemplify that all of the youth that use this room are “Stars”.
Emily Fecteau, President of Y.A.C. comments, “YAC would like to thank the Smilezone Foundation for the much appreciated renovation of the committee’s headquarters. Before the generous renovation, the room reassembled more of a formal Business Office rather than a youth friendly lounge, which it resembles today. We have already noticed that due to the space having a more inviting atmosphere, youth are more confident in sharing their opinions, concepts, and ideas. The change which we have already observed has benefited each individual in the group in their own unique way and will continue to for the many years to come. Thank you so much! We love our new, cool, youth friendly space!”
The Smilezone Foundation is an independent charity committed to “putting smiles on children’s faces”. The charity, founded by Adam Graves and Scott Bachly, established the overarching mission of assisting children and their families who are facing difficult times and health challenges. Smilezone’s mission is to create, build and transform areas (zones) in hospitals, private treatment and development centres, and children’s clinics, in order to improve the lives of children facing illness, disabilities, and physical and emotional obstacles -ultimately putting a smile on their faces.