The Walt Disney World Resort extends a caring hand to the children of our community. Our programs and partnerships help to build better futures for our children and, ultimately, a stronger community for us all. It is the goal of Disney—Helping Kids Shine to engage children in society by creating healthy, guiding relationships with adults, providing constructive free time activities, offering character-building opportunities, and encouraging a sense of compassion for others, while helping those children who face adversity.
Our four areas of focus to help children:
Connecting with Adults
One of the principle building blocks children need is support from adults. Connecting with Adults is committed to family and community issues that promote the value of youth in our society. Efforts we would support in this area include parent workshops, teacher support, career exploration, mentoring, tutoring and coaching programs, neighborhood centers, teen town hall meetings and family volunteering.
Constructive Use of Free Time
The Walt Disney World Resort collaborates with existing programs that provide inspiring activities in safe places for children to gather, especially middle school students who are most at-risk between the hours of 3:00-6:00 p.m. Programs supported in this area include sports, music, arts and club activities offering children opportunities to grow in a structured, supervised and safe environment, including summer programs and volunteer activities.
We also support activities and programs that empower children to make decisions, and help them understand the consequences of their choices. These efforts instill the values of honesty, responsibility, diversity, respect, and social interaction, particularly within schools. We believe these values contribute to a child’s sense of purpose and self esteem, providing positive skills for interpersonal relationships. Examples are youth-led efforts such as, conflict resolution training, and programs building foundational skills.
An essential ingredient to building strong adults is demonstrating compassion for others. It is in the practice of teaching acceptance and helping others that we develop connections to our community and to our world. In addition, we will continue to create opportunities to fulfill the wishes of children facing life-threatening illnesses, support those with medical challenges, help those who live in distressed communities or who are impacted by natural disasters.
With the assistance of national leaders like the Search Institute and America’s Promise, the Walt Disney World Resort will continue to identify those essential building blocks that help children in Central Florida flourish.