Two organizations that help at-risk students improve their physical and mental well-being will each receive grants of $150,000 from the Government of British Columbia.
The funding will help Take a Hike Foundation and Right To Play expand their programs in B.C., so that more students who may be at risk can benefit from the supports provided by these specialized programs.
Take a Hike is a full-time, alternative education program for youth in grades 10 to 12 that uses a combination of outdoor adventure-based learning, academics, therapy and community involvement to engage students. The program currently serves 80 students, with 20 students per class in four classes. Two classes are in Vancouver, one in Burnaby and one in Trail. It is expanding into Surrey for the next school year, benefiting 20 more students.
The program helps students attain real results. Last year, 92% of Grade 12 students in the program graduated with a high school diploma. There is also a significant increase in school attendance amongst participants — from an average of 2.25 days per week to four days per week (a 77% increase).
The funds for Right To Play will be used for the organization to enhance programming that is focused on mental well-being and physical health for Indigenous students, new immigrants and children in care. Right To Play currently operates in 19 communities in B.C., with their presence mainly in Indigenous communities. These funds will be used to develop partnerships with more school districts.
Since launching in 2015, Right To Play in B.C. has worked with over 1,500 children and youth. The program uses the power of play to educate and empower children facing adversity. The funding will also help Right To Play work with interested school districts on creating programming that aligns with B.C.’s new curriculum.
- The Take a Hike program is designed primarily for students who are between the ages of 15 and 19, in grades 10 to 12 and who are at risk of dropping out of school, or who have already dropped out.
- Between one-third to one-half of Take a Hike participants identify as Indigenous, and approximately one-quarter of participants are from new immigrant families.
- 92% of Right To Play program participants said they were excited about school, and developed a more positive attitude toward school.
- Since 2010, Right To Play programming in Canada has expanded from two to more than 85 Indigenous communities and organizations across Canada, engaging approximately 5,000 children and youth.
More about Right to Play in Canada here.
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