Youth co-coordinator position starts in January

  • Nov. 26, 2010 5:00 p.m.

Increasing physical activity and other after-school programs for youth will be the objective of a new north-end youth coordinator. The 20-hour a week position, which will start in January and run until the end of the school year, is being offered in a partnership between the school district and QCI Recreation. School District superintendent Angus Wilson said the funding for this after-school program comes from the Sport and Recreation branch of the Ministry of Healthy Living and Sport. The province selected five communities to access money through the 2010 Sports Legacy fund – Vancouver, Surrey, Victoria, Prince George and Port Clements. Mr. Wilson was surprised that Port Clements was included in such a group, but realized the common denominator was a shared service model, ie. Port’s multiplex. The impetus for the funding, he said, is to ensure the school becomes the place for positive activities for ages 5 to 18. Port’s multiplex has garnered accolades as school district staff have discussed it at meetings around the province, and Mr. Wilson thinks that’s why the community was on the radar screen for the funding. The trick for Port Clements is that teenagers are not around after school because they are on buses coming from either Masset or Queen Charlotte. So Mr. Wilson convinced the funders that Port Clements and Masset be grouped together for the programming. He hopes, in the future, to expand the program to the south as well. It’s not clear if the funding will be ongoing, he said, but he may be able to get a couple of school years out of the money the province did provide. “Research has shown that young people are at greater risk of developing social issues if they don’t have access to fun social activities,” said Mr. Wilson. The goal of this program is not get all youth involved in fun, healthy activities and help ensure that it becomes a lifelong interest. Whoever takes the position will work with the communities to determine what after-school activities young people are interested in.