By Zoe Bennett
Kyle Dine, an educator and musician who performs at schools across North America raising food allergy awareness, made his first visit to Quebec on June 15 at Gardenview Elementary School in St Laurent.
Over the past six years, Dine has performed at over 300 schools for over 125,000 students. He has grown up managing his own allergies to peanuts, tree nuts, eggs, seafood and mustard. His songs help empower, support, and educate all children on the matter.
With a guitar slung over his shoulder, an EpiPen on his belt, and a cast of zany puppets accompanying him, he educated the students on what they can do to help keep others with allergies safe. After growing up with multiple food allergies himself, he has a lifetime of stories and experiences that he shared with the students while answering all of their questions.
Children from every grade level, including Kindergarten, were clearly captivated by Dine. His passion for the matter was evident and it certainly radiated through his performances. The children of Gardenview were very excited to learn even more about a cause they already knew so much about; Dine was clearly taken by surprise by how knowledgeable they were on the subject.
|Carla Da Silva and her two children..|
Parent Mandy Menschick and school nurse Andrea Mihailescu worked on this event, as well as an allergy awareness campaign during the month of May. "We put in a lot of work for a couple of months to raise awareness on this very important topic, which affects more and more people each year," said Menschick. " We plan on raising more awareness during the next school year with the money we raised during our campaign this year.
Carla Da Silva who works with Anaphylaxis Canada was among those in attendance for Dine's first Quebec visit. Accompanied by her two children, one of who has suffered from severe allergies since he was merely seven months old, she was very excited to see Dine perform and educate so many on all the things she has strived so hard to explain and communicate to others. It is clear she strives to ensure that parents of these children have somewhere and someone to turn to.
The clear message that everyone is trying to spread in raising allergy awareness is to ensure that no one feels alone, or different. Even though you may suffer from something that differentiates you from others you can grow stronger and embrace your allergies in ways that some never thought possible. Dine encapsulates this in every way, he clearly inspires and will continue to do so for years to come.
Dine looks forward to visiting more EMSB schools next year.