During our visits to schools to supply them with DNA kits and information on ways to help keep your children safe sometimes the local paper comes out to inform the community we were there. Below are some examples of that.

Child safety campaigners visit Brighton

Distribute pamphlets, ID kits

Ontario Child Safety Network. BRIGHTON — Michelle Bryan and Chris Wennekes, the parents of three children, launched the Ontario Child Safety Network several years ago to create safer communities for children. Their not-for-profit organization distributes free kits that store a child’s fingerprint and DNA samples. Sept. 12, 2012 John Campbell / The Independent

BRIGHTON — It can be a dangerous world out there for youngsters but a Peterborough couple are doing what they can to protect them.For the past seven years, husband-and-wife team Chris Wennekes and Michelle Bryan have made it their mission to prevent children from being victimized.

To achieve their goal, they set up the Ontario Child Safety Network, an educational program that relies on pamphlets, seminars and a website to promote awareness about child abduction, abuse and pornography.

The pair also distribute DNA/fingerprint kits with the pamphlets whenever they visit schools, daycare centres or special events, such as fairs. The personal identification record includes a form to provide vital details about a child as well as space for a recent photo they say should be updated every six months.

Last week they dropped off 136 of the booklets and kits to Brighton Public School to be sent home to the parents of children in grades 1, 2 and 3.

“We usually hand out about 20,000 fingerprint and safety books a year, all over Ontario, ” Ms. Bryan said.

The couple set up the network after starting a family and concluding there was nothing available to prepare their children for the dangers they would face, such as “predators portraying themselves as young kids” on the Internet, Mr. Wennekes said. “We just felt there was a need for this.”

Their activity booklet, Sammy the Safety Bear’s ‘Stranger Safety Adventure’, includes reminders for parents and guardians on what to do to keep their children safe, and it sets out 10 rules children should follow to stay out of harm.

The not-for-profit organization is funded by door-to-door awareness campaigns, the sale of merchandise and private donations.

The safety book and child ID kit can be obtained at no cost by calling 705-755-0082 or by going online at, which includes safety tips and links to help lines.
Curiosity of Northumberland News • The Independent

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