ThinkFirst Vancouver

Chapter Contacts:

Coordinator name: Diana Samarakkody
Directors: Dr. Shelina Babul, Dr. Brian Hunt 
Phone number: 604-875-2000, Ext.3252
Email address:

About Us:

ThinkFirst BC started in North Vancouver in 2003 under the guidance and enthusiasm of Dr. Brian Hunt and Jennifer Burns. Dr. Hunt has continued to be the driving force behind the BC Chapter and has enlisted Dr. Shelina Babul of the BC Injury Research and Prevention Unit to co-direct with him. ThinkFirst BC prevents brain and spinal cord injuries by raising awareness and educating children, youth, parents, teachers and coaches in and around Metro Vancouver. Our goal is to educate as many children, youth and adults in BC as possible to motivate them to stay safe and avoid brain and spinal cord injury.

What We Do

TD ThinkFirst For Kids Safety Curriculum

TD ThinkFirst For Kids is a free easy to use 6-lesson safety curriculum available in both English and French for Kindergarten to grade 8 students that addresses:

  • Understanding the brain and spinal cord
  • Pedestrian, cycling and vehicular safety
  • Recreational, playground, sports, winter & water safety
  • Creative problem solving
  • Avoiding the hazards of choking, suffocation and strangulation

Teachers choose how they wish to teach the six lessons. The curriculum was designed to be integrated into class schedules according to the teachers′ discretion or preference.

Building on students′ knowledge of the TD ThinkFirst For Kids, the students are invited to participate in the national "I ThinkFirst!" contest. By submitting a creative art project, entrants have a chance to win helmets for themselves or helmets for their entire class.

Elementary School Presentations

Our school presentations engage students through stories and demonstrations to illustrate reasons to protect your brain. The children learn about the brain and spinal cord, and how to protect them, proper helmet fitting and also get to hear a survivor′s story.

Our presentations include a powerful safety message to all the students in school. A ThinkFirst presenter, accompanied by a brain or spinal cord injury survivor will spend a half-day at your school making 20-45 minute presentations to two or four grade levels at a time (K/1, 2/3, 4/5 & 6/7 or K-3 & 4-7). Our presentations are very well-received by students, teachers and principals.

Fee: $290 (covers materials, mileage, and honorarium for our speaker and brain-injury survivor)

Brain Waves

Brain Waves is a fun and engaging half-day neuroscience presentation that teaches students ingrades 4-6 about the brain and spinal cord. Through interactive lessons, Brain Waves introduces all the senses and parts of the brain; teaches students proper helmet fitting and the importance of protecting themselves.

Brain Waves will be presented by trained volunteers — usually University students in Neurology, Health Sciences, Education etc. — usually during reading week in February/March.

Brain Waves volunteers needed: Students interested in becoming a Brain Waves presenter please contact us at


Concussion Awareness

We raise awareness on the topic of concussion through:

  • Arranging concussion presentations (information on signs and symptoms, how to assess, when to seek a health professional and when to return to normal activities, etc.)
  • Handing out concussion resources to management staff, coaches, trainers and parents (smart hockey DVD, concussion cards, etc.)

Fundraising Initiatives

Financial assistance goes directly to ThinkFirst BC programs and is always much appreciated.

For more information about injury prevention in BC or getting involved with our program, please contact Diana Samarakkody. Thank you!

We also encourage you to visit the Community Against Preventable Injuries website at