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Kids learn to dream big in Stellarton

Camilla MacDonald, right, and Dream Candy co-founder Deelle Hines.
Camilla MacDonald, right, and Dream Candy co-founder Deelle Hines. - Fram Dinshaw

Local youth group Dream Candy aims to have kids dreaming big at its colourful new digs above Stellarton Library, where families enjoyed an open house Saturday.

One year after starting in a Stellarton coffee shop, the group has set a big but simple goal: improve the lives of at least 1,000 children in Pictou County over 2018 through teaching them wellness and self-development.

“The program is phenomenal. They really specify to the kids’ needs. They work with the child to build their self-esteem, their confidence,” said local parent Lee-Ann Gordon. “It’s very artistic, they help them with different ways to express who they are.”

Dream Candy co-founder Camilla MacDonald said the group teaches practices such as meditation, gratitude, acts of kindness, mindful eating and exercise and creative self expression since January of last year.

The group believes each child has infinite potential and aims to build a positive future for them with purpose.

Both MacDonald and fellow co-founder Deelle Hines say that parents and teachers tell us that children in our programs are displaying greater self-esteem, communicating better with friends and family, and more willing to try new things.

“If we knew this when we were kids we would have been so much happier. We would have saved ourselves a lot of trouble,” said MacDonald.

Indeed, Dream Candy was born out of a conversation between MacDonald and Hines, who discussed ways to offer youth both opportunities and a sense of direction they did not have as children.

“We both have kids, so we wanted to [save them] just some of the troubles that you go through figuring who you are and what you want to do in life,” said MacDonald.

As MacDonald and Gordon spoke, families and children happily played at Dream Candy’s new home, enjoying activities from colouring and drawing to practising boxing moves on a punching bag.

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