PLANO — The Kids Count Players, a volunteer puppet program that educates elementary school children about personal boundaries and how to stay safe from abuse, celebrated an important milestone — educating more than 100,000 children on May 18 at Frisco ISD’s Gunstream Elementary School.
The Kids Count Players is a volunteer project of the Children’s Advocacy Center of Collin County. The program, created for children and dedicated to keeping them safe, was founded in 2005 by then CACCC staff member and longtime Collin County resident, Jane Donovan. Donovan, now CACCC board member, continues to be an advocate for child abuse prevention.
Kids Count Players entertain kindergarten, first and second grade students, while imparting a message that they are special — that they “count.” The program includes six hand-crafted, muppet-like puppets, and original script written by Donovan, and original songs written and recorded by Tania Cordobes, fulltime music therapist at the CACCC.
When asked what she is most proud of after reaching this milestone, the program’s creator, Jane Donovan said, “I am proud of so many things. I am proud that there are children who after seeing the performance were brave enough to disclose of abuse. I’m proud that children who attended might not have become victims because of what they learned. I am proud of the Center for their unbridled support, and I’m proud to perform along side twenty-two incredible volunteers who have become partners in the fight against child abuse.”
Since the program’s inception, the Kids Count Players have performed more than 706 times, visited 385 schools, and educated 100,253 students. The CACCC offers the program at no cost as a community service project.