Monday, October 12, 2009

After-school, poverty reducing health promotion

Just as everyone was settling in for the long weekend and whatever it was to bring, the Ontario government released the latest on its after-school initiative. (Release and information links)
From the release:
Ontario's After-School Initiative supports community-based activities and requires local partnerships that can enhance the delivery of programs. Almost 60 per cent of the sites will be in schools, while others will be in settings such as community and recreation centres.
Funding under the Ontario After-School Initiative supports costs related to delivering the program, including:
  • Staff costs such as salaries, benefits
  • Staff training
  • Healthy food, cooking and food service supplies
Program equipment, including sports equipment, arts and crafts supplies
In some cases, funds have been requested to support special needs for program delivery. These include:
  • Transportation costs to get children and youth from the main venue to other locations (e.g. to the community swimming pool, to the library); and
  • Equipment for the facility to encourage teen engagement in after-school programs such as music and gymnastic equipment.
The funding and program are actually under the Ministry of Health Promotion, but one wonders, given Pascal, whether this will be folded into the Ministry of Education-- no doubt there is some involvement there as Minister Kathleen Wynne chairs the cabinet committee dealing with the government's response to poverty (or, at least, she did at one point).
The supported programs are being rolled out in areas with higher at-risk populations first, with the remaining areas to follow. According to the release implementation began at the beginning of the school year.


Anonymous said...

All fine and dandy ER but what of communities in which after-school programs don't fly??

They do exist you know.

Northern Ontario schools have enough problems getting sports teams and after-school games and such off the ground sometimes because often, especially in the winter months it's dark at 5pm and buses stop running. As most in smaller, and northern communities are bussed in...this is another ball of wax all together.

I see this once again as being an initiative for the large urban schools than for my community where even the balanced school day hasn't worked as promised.

Anonymous said...

Anon. 15:53 raises some good points. There's still a very definite disconnected between policies developed for the good of urban schools vs. how they translate on the ground in rural/small town schools.

Is Ontario rolling in money these days?? Sure seems like it.

Education Reporter said...

Don't forget this government (like others) has a penchant for announcing, re-announcing and then rolling out announcements on funding.

The $$ here come from the poverty reduction pot, I believe.