Hamilton Kids Stay Busy This Summer
McGuinty Government Expands Program To Keep More Ontario Youth Active And Engaged
This summer more than 4,000 young people have had access to free summer camps, art classes and leadership clinics at area schools.
With help from the Ontario government, not-for-profit groups are offering a variety of summer activities to keep students safe and active. The program, called Focus on Youth, is especially important for families who have limited access to learning and recreation opportunities when school ends for the year. School space was offered for no charge to more than 40 community groups that successfully applied to their local school boards.
The government launched Focus on Youth in over 100 Toronto schools in 2007. This year, Ontario expanded the program to Hamilton and Ottawa and increased funding for the program by 50 per cent to $6 million. Hamilton received $765,000 to give local youth fun summer learning opportunities.
Focus on Youth builds on the province's Community Use of Schools initiative. Community Use of Schools encourages schools to be used as hubs for learning, being active and volunteering after school hours.
- Studies show that children who spend 20 to 35 hours a week in activities like sports, music and art are significantly more likely to succeed in school.
- On average, Canadian children aged 10 to 16 spent six hours a day in front of their TV, playing video games and/or using the computer.
- Hamilton has 152 elementary schools and 27 high schools.
“Our schools are great places to learn, and Focus on Youth gives our students the opportunity to also use them for safe places to be active, productive and grow as individuals over the summer months.”