Our Team

Suann Boates

Suann has worked with Kids Action Program (KAP) team since 1993. She began as Outreach and Support Coordinator and program facilitator and became Director in Kings County in 2014. Suann has now taken the position of Executive Director.

Suann has a BSc in Biology, minoring in Psychology. She has been a certified and practicing Doula and Prenatal Instructor for more than 35 years. She is privileged to have extensive training and certification in Attachment Theory, Circle of Security Parenting, Roots of Empathy (ROE), Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy and is a neuro-linguistic programming practitioner.

Suann’s work ethic and commitment is a testament to her coworkers and the families she serves.

Melissa White

Melissa has joined Kids Action Program Hants team. Her role is Program Coordinator and Outreach Support Assistant. Melissa is a certified Child and Youth Care Worker. In addition, she has six years experience as a Level 2 Early Childhood Educator.

Growing up, and now raising her five children with her husband in the Hants North area, Melissa hopes to provide a positive learning environment and make strong connections with families in the community – she wants to give back to the area she loves. Melissa is very passionate about working and learning with children and their families.

Donna Ellis

Donna, Director of Kids Action Program in Kings County, began working for the Annapolis Valley Hants Community Action Program for Children (AVH-CAPC), now known as Kids Action Program (KAP), in 2001. 

Originally a volunteer with the Great Beginnings Food Box program, Donna continues to fill the role of Community Food Mentor, teaches cooking workshops, facilitates the SOUP (Saving Our Unappreciated Produce) Program, and supports the Great Beginnings Food Box Program.

When she’s not wielding a wooden spoon, Donna is busy documenting the daily ‘ins and outs’ of Kids Action Program, planning programs, trouble shooting, and overseeing and supporting staff. 

She considers herself fortunate to experience and participate in all aspects of working for the Kids Action Program. 

Bokyung (Bo) Sung

Bokyung has been working for Kids Action Program since Summer 2022. She is the Coordinator of the Great Beginnings Program in Kings County and also contributes her time to many other programs offered by KAP. 

Bokyung was born and raised in South Korea and immigrated to Canada in 2011 with her husband. She is the proud mom of one young child and is passionate about cooking and arts n crafts, always exploring new expressions of creativity, and picking up new creative skills. She has been trained as a woodworker. 

She loves people and enjoys many different aspects of community-building and outreach as well as providing support to new and expecting moms. She loves babies, exploring nature with kids and families, and reaching out wherever support is needed. 

Bo says, “I love my job because I like people and I like helping.”

Mark Crouse

Born and raised here in Nova Scotia’s Annapolis Valley, Mark is a graduate of the Nova Scotia Teachers College- Child Development Services Program. He joined us in 1996, as the instructor of the Jump-Start program. Since those early days he has become a valuable resource and team member as the Children’s Program Coordinator in Kings County.

In 2013, Mark partnered with CentreStage Theatre as one of the Artistic Directors for the summer theatre camp programs. He has written, produced, and directed seven children’s plays for the stage since. His photographic work is featured throughout this website and the Kids Action Program Facebook pages where he keeps us all up to date and entertained. We truly appreciate his artistic talent and energy!

Mark says, “One of the greatest opportunities we have as children’s program staff is to create lasting positive experiences and memories”. Whenever there is a chance to get outside with families and children he is at the forefront, planning and delivering programs. Mark continues to coordinate the Children’s Programs, the Great Beginnings Food Box Program, and is one of the Program Administrators for Kids Action Program.

Vanessa Franco

Vanessa immigrated to Canada in 2015. She was born and raised in Portugal, where she received a degree in Exercise and Health, and for the past 5 years she has worked with children of all ages ranging from 3 months to 96 years old! She is passionate about health, natural science, nutrition, and learning more about the “traditional” ways. She has become a reliable source of information. Two years ago, Vanessa and her husband moved to Nova Scotia from Ontario to start a homestead, they now have a 1 year old Nova Scotian son.

Vanessa attended Kids Action Program groups when her son was about 5 months old. She experienced firsthand how useful the program was for herself and her little baby, and was very grateful to have this resource. When the opportunity to join the KAP team came up, she didn’t hesitate to apply. She saw it as a chance to help and support the people in her community.

She is now the Great Beginnings Program Coordinator for Hants County and loves every minute of it! From supporting expectant moms, to home visits with new babies, (bonus when there are baby cuddles), play dates at the centre, or just a walk in the woods, she is always ready to connect and support everyone.

Ashley Wadden

Ashley has been working for Kids Action Program for over 3 years now. She began as the lead with the Great Beginnings Program, and is currently the Director in Hants County. Ashley has a BA in Sociology and Women and Gender Studies. Ashley is also a Roots of Empathy Instructor and a certified Car Seat Technician with CPSAC. Ashley is here to support you and your family in any way she can!

Ashley see’s the importance of connectivity, and works hard networking with other organizations to help bridge our community outreach programs together with the goal of reaching as many families as possible. 

Nathan Brown 

Nathan has been the Housing and Unhoused Coordinator for Kids Action Program since December 2022. Nathan supports people in all aspects of housing whether it be locating new housing, assisting to keep people housed, or even helping tenants learn their rights.  However, Nathan is best known for his world-famous hot dogs and if you’ve been fortunate enough to try one, you’ll know why. He also helps to coordinate the Kids Action Program Instagram page.

Nathan was born in Kentville, and after attending school in Charlottetown moved back home to Wolfville where he lives with his partner and little pug named Daniel who can be seen at programs from time to time.

Kaitlyn Black

Kaitlyn joined Kids Action Program in January 2023 as the Support and Outreach Coordinator for Kings County. She is also the organization’s referral agent for GEO (Getting Everyone Online) Nova Scotia and enjoys attending and supporting other programs offered by Kids Action. Kaitlyn has a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, minored in Sociology and has a Graduate Certificate in Behavioural Interventions.

Born and raised in the Annapolis Valley, Kaitlyn is excited to help her community by connecting with and supporting the participants of Kids Action Program.

Judy Lipp

Judy joined the Kids Action team in 2021 to support various initiatives for children, mothers and families. With her love of nature and spending time outdoors, Judy naturally gravitates to planning and facilitating outings and events that put participants in touch with nature while enjoying the company of community. Activities include hikes, outdoor games and explorations, after school nature play sessions, camping trips and more. Judy is also very involved in the coordination of the Valley Community Suppers – a weekly meal sharing program that brings together people of all ages and walks of life to share freshly prepared dishes made with local ingredients. 

Judy has a passion for the well-being of people and our planet Mother Earth, recognizing both need to be tended so that all may thrive.  When not involved with KAP, Judy is busy with Flying Squirrel Adventures, an outdoor school for children and youth.  Judy is the proud mother of 1 young child who teaches her every day about living life in the present moment with love, light and laughter!