July 7, 2014 5:20 pm
Updated: July 7, 2014 7:08 pm

Country superstar Shania Twain unveils program for Calgary students


CALGARY- School may be out for the summer, but some Calgary kids headed back to the classroom on Monday to meet a country music superstar.

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Shania Twain is in town ahead of two Calgary Stampede concerts later this week, and took the chance to kick off a new program at Catherine Nichols Gunn School. Through her non-profit organization Shania Kids Can which helps at-risk children, a clubhouse will be built at the school, complete with extra-curricular activities, nutritional and therapeutic programs.

“I was going to school and I didn’t look forward to it, because it was a place where I was humiliated, and I knew I had to make up some sort of story about why I didn’t have a lunch or why I didn’t have clean clothes,” Twain shared, of her difficult childhood. “Our heating had been turned off and we couldn’t shower or bathe.”

The clubhouse will help 20 students once school starts up again, and mother Trina Burkhardt hopes it gives her daughter Brennalyn a big boost.

“She’s just very shy, and it’s just very hard to get by sometimes. I mean, my husband’s hours have been cut for a while, now we’re getting back on our feet,” Burkhardt says. “It’s great to have a new opportunity for her to do things that I would never be able to do for her.”

Twain, who just so happens to be the best-selling female country artist of all time, welcomes the opportunity to help.

“I don’t know how to run a school, but I do know what it is to be in their shoes. So this is my way of giving back.”

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