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August 29, 2005
Media Advisory: Firetrucks, kids, computers and safety
Firefighters from Toronto Fire Services act as mentoring partners in Toronto
Social Services' kids@computers Scholarship Project. By acting as a project
partner, Toronto Fire Services offers enhancements to this innovative project
that provides computer orientations and home computers for children and their
families who are in receipt of social assistance.

Who: Toronto Fire, Toronto Social Services and kids@computers
What: Photo and interview opportunities
Where: Toronto Fire Academy, 895 Eastern Ave.
When: Tuesday, August 30, 12:30 to 3:30 p.m.

Toronto Fire will host an expanded learning session for the kids@computers
project. At these sessions, the children learn about fire safety, they can see
first-hand how technology is used in fire vehicles, and they gain a new insight
into the value of physical fitness.

"We know that excellence in performance and in life begins with a vision of
where you want to go and a commitment to do what it takes to get there," said
Fire Chief Bill Stewart. "By sharing with these young people, we hope that
their vision will be expanded and this will be the start of a process that will
lead to their development." Chief Stewart thanks the Social Services staff for
helping to make this program a reality. "Together we can make a difference in
the lives of the young people we mentor."

The kids@computers Scholarship Project provides children aged 8 to 14 with a
home computer, basic computer and Internet orientation, and the opportunity to
work with a mentor. Children can apply for a computer if their families are
receiving either Ontario Works assistance, Ontario Disability Support Program
assistance or have a rental subsidy from Toronto Community Housing Corporation.
As part of the application process, children write a short essay on why they
need and how they would use a home computer, and complete a computer awareness
survey. They also need to provide a reference letter from an adult in a
position of authority who is not a family member.

By the end of 2005, the kids@computers Scholarship Project will have helped an
estimated 7,000 families, including more than 15,000 children, to bridge the
digital divide allowing them to compete in today's technology-driven world.
This successful project is a unique partnership between various City of Toronto
divisions, including Toronto Social Services, Toronto Fire Services, Toronto
Public Library, and Toronto Parks, Forestry and Recreation. These partners have
provided training facilities, training staff and mentoring opportunities.

Media contacts:
Captain David Sheen, TFS PIO, (office) 416-338-9317,
(cell) 416-578-4316, (pager) 416-468-9978
Judy Yano, Manager, kids@computers Scholarship Project,
Toronto Social Services, 416-392-3657



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