Shania Twain at Surrey school

Children in need the focus of program at Hjorth Road Elementary in Guildford, pop-country star says at funding announcement

Surrey Now
By Tom Zillich
June 8, 2015

SURREY Wearing sunglasses, a bleached-blonde Shania Twain greeted young students at a Guildford-area school on Monday (June 8).

The Canadian pop-country star was in Surrey to announce funding for Hjorth Road Elementary through her Shania Kids Can Program.

The funding will help students at the school who need help with the basics of getting a proper education, she said.

"I'm very excited and emotional about today," Twain told a group of 16 students and news media. "It's really overwhelming every time we open a program in a school."

Representatives with Surrey Board of Education and The Dilawri Foundation also attended the press conference.

Twain spoke of times in her life when she went to school without her hair washed or teeth brushed, due to poverty.

"We couldn't afford shampoo sometimes, or soap," she said of her upbringing in rural Ontario. "I'd go to school with greasy hair.

"So basic things like that, we supply those things. (For the students), it changes the course of their whole day."

The Shania Kids Can Foundation's vision is to "provide children who are at risk of losing their opportunity to be the best they can be, because they are suffering from poverty, disregard, abuse or an overall dysfunctional family lifestyle, the chance to overcome the effects that these challenges may be having on their ability to function at an optimum level during the school day," according to the organization's website.

"We build, furnish and hire support staff to run the new program," the website says. "We hire qualified staff, furnish the designated program space (referred to as the SKC Clubhouse), procure food and nutrition supplies as well as recreational equipment and office supplies for the new program."

Twain brings her "Rock This Country" tour to Vancouver's Rogers Arena this week.