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New Program to Aid Disadvantaged Youth

(Wednesday, March 28/2001)-- Halifax Regional Municipality has launched a new program aimed at helping financially disadvantaged youth participate in more recreation and cultural activities, it was announced today.

It is estimated that there are approximately 44,000 disadvantaged youths in Nova Scotia, many of them residing within HRM.

In response to these statistics, the municipality has established a pilot program in peninsular Halifax, entitled "HRM Kids"-- which is an acronym for "Healthy Recreation Motivates Kids."

Studies have shown the biggest obstacle to these young people being able to participate in various sports, recreation, arts and cultural activities is financial-they do not have the financial means to cover the costs of program registration, sports equipment/other materials costs or transportation costs.

The program enables participants to boost their self esteem, learn new skills, increase their knowledge and promote their personal development by taking part in recreation, sports and other cultural activities.

Bob Nauss, HRM Regional Coordinator for Recreation Programming, said the new program is based on a similar effort that was implemented in Thunder Bay, Ontario.

Mr. Nauss said the number of financially disadvantaged youths participating in the Thunder Bay program jumped from 80 to 800 in the first year. The current level is approximately 1,000 participants and Thunder Bay organizers had to raise $22,000 to buy additional spaces in activities outside of its regular program.

Clifton Reddenick, HRM Kids Program Coordinator, said the municipality will be working with a number of recreation, sports and cultural agencies, such as; the YMCA, Maritime Conservatory of Performing Arts, Centennial Pool, George Dixon Centre, etc., who are willing to provide space in their programs for financially disadvantaged youth.

"This will be a partnership between H-R-M and a number of metro service providers in the fields of sports, recreation, arts and culture," he said.

The first wave of participants in HRM Kids will begin early next month. Although organizers are willing to accept private or individual financial donations, the main focus at this time is to promote and deliver the spring/summer schedule of activities.

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Clifton Reddenick
Program Coordinator, HRM Kids
(902) 490-4739

John O'Brien
Corporate Communications Officer
(902) 490-6531

Above content last modified Wednesday, May 22, 2024 at 4:36pm.