Dare to Care Bully Prevention & Life Skills Inc.

150,000 students miss school each day and 7 out of 10 children drop out of organized sports by age 13. Why? Because they feel alone, unsafe, or unwelcome. At Dare to Care we address the pervasive and crippling issue of bullying to ensure that all children feel safe, welcome, and included in their school and community.

Our Story Why We Exist

We often realize that we are in the right place at absolutely the right time.  Last week was one of those times.

We were working with a small rural school and met a young boy named Paul. Initially Paul sat off to the side of the school-wide assembly, seemingly bored and un-engaged. We assumed he was off in his own world, perhaps daydreaming about lunchtime or what he was going to do after school. But during the first break, Paul quietly approached us, with tears in his eyes, and simply said "I have been bullied for 3 years and no-one in this school cares." He proceeded to tell us about the numerous times he went home hungry because people stole his lunch, and that he had never wanted a birthday party because he knew that no one would come. He had several other stories to share but then he dropped the real bombshell. A week earlier he had gone out to the family shed and held his dad's shotgun in his mouth, ready to pull the trigger.  He was worn down and tired of the living nightmare his life had become. He simply wanted to give up. Thankfully, he didn't pull the trigger that day. We did not ask him why...we simply hugged him and told him how happy we were that he was here with us. We promised him that if he stayed the day, he would realize that there is hope and that he is not alone in this world. Paul was in Grade 6.  Just a young boy growing up in a not-so-perfect world. Imagine if he had gone through with his intentions. Imagine the impact it would have had on his family and his community.

What happened later that afternoon is exactly why we continue to do what we do at Dare to Care. Paul, who had felt like giving up only days before, was now surrounded by 15 -20 of his classmates. They were hugging and crying and individually apologizing for what they had done to him. I think you'd agree that Paul's life changed that day.  

The sad reality is that there are 150,000 'Pauls' in this country. What if one of these children was your own child, and you had no idea? Would you want someone to be there for them?

Our Impact What We Do

NO CHILD should ever feel alone, afraid, or unwelcome in their school or community.

Bullying is not just a school issue.  Bullying is a societal issue that is impacting individuals in all areas of school, community, sports, work and home life and we all play a role in making sure our world is more accepting and kind. Dare to Care was the first fully comprehensive program launched in Canada in 1998 to tackle the pervasive and crippling issue of bullying and mental health amongst our children and youth.  Our belief is that all children and youth have a right to feel safe, welcome, and included in their school and community.  Dare to Care consists of three programs: 

  1. Innovative and age appropriate workshops for students, athletes, and sports teams.
  2. Support and education for parents  to recognize the signs of bullying and mental illness
  3. Extensive Professional Development for teachers, administration,coaches, and officials 

Because of bullying:

  • 150,000 Canadian students miss school each day 
  • 7 out of 10 children quit organized sport by age 13
  • 53% of teachers who quit state it's because they feel ill-equipped to deal with bullying and other challenging      behaviors in their classroom.

Our 2015-16 Results:

  • Impacted over 75,000 students, parents and teachers last year
  • Expanding into Calgary amateur sports in the September 2017
  • Received the 2016 Government of Alberta Inspiration Award for Leadership in Bully Prevention in schools and communities

Our Programs How We Do It

The Dare to Care program is designed to assist schools and community groups in establishing inclusive and safe environments where everyone has a sense of social responsibility.  Since 1998, Dare to Care has delivered three flagship programs:

1) Age-appropriate workshops for  students/athletes/sports teams : Through developmentally appropirate assemblies and skill development, children and youth are given the knowledgfe and skill set to collectivley make a difference in their lives and the lives of others.  The Dare to Care Student Day emphasizes the important concepts of awareness, empathy, resilience and social responsibility.

2) Parent Information Sessions:  Including the parents within the school  and sporting community is integral in the success of the Dare to Care program.   Parents attend a 2.5 hour information session that will provide them with the awareness and skills to be able to help their children negotiate the sometimes difficult and confusing social world. As well, the session will focus on the self-monitoring of the parent's own behavior when in school or at a sporting event.

3) Professional Development for Teachers/ Administrators/Coaches/Officials:  Teachers, administrators , and coaches play a critical role in creating a climate of support and empathy inside and outside of their classroom or sporting team, yet over the past 17 years we have heard the same feedback repeatedly from educators and coaches....they feel very ill-equipped to effectively deal with  bullying. Professional development provides the tools and support needed to implement policies and strategies to prevent and intervene in bullying. 

Many bully prevention programs have come and gone without having any significant impact on the culture of the school or community.  The reason is simple, if we don't mobilize the silent majority or bystanders, nothing will ever change.  The silent majority/bystanders are the untapped resource in every school and community.  These are the students, players, parents, teachers, etc., who witness the bullying but feel too afraid or ill-equipped to intervene.  

Through age-appropriate workshops for children and youth; through education and support for parents; and through extensive professional development for teachers, coaches, youth leaders, etc., the Dare to Care program is helping to shift the imbalance of power away from the few who bully and into the hands of the caring majority.  

For a detailed look at the various Dare to Care programs click see our Information Package for schools.

Our Requests What You Can Do

Schools and Sporting organizations cannot effectively deal with the pervasive issue of bullying without significant support from outside resources.

Dare to Care's ability to work with schools and sporting organizations is impaired only by budgetary constraints.  We have always prided ourselves in providing program subsidies to all schools and sporting organizations so that no one is denied the support they need due to lack of  funds.  The only way we can continue to do this is through the generous donations made from private and public sources: 

  • Donate directly on our website
  • Donate through Canada Helps for monthly giving or a one time donation

Here is how your donation helps prevent bullying across Canada:

  • $500 = 1 school or sporting group receives subsidy
  • $10,000 = 20 schools or sporting groups receive subsidy
Join the conversation to create #BullyFreeSchools and #BullyFreeSports across Canada by following us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.


Lisa Dixon-Wells
Executive Director
Charitable Number: 834066177RR0001

Donate Now

Finance & Governance