Bloor West Villager
The Davenport-Perth Neighbourhood Centre is one of 105 community-based organizations to benefit from an RBC After School Grant.
RBC announced earlier this month it would donate $2.7 million in grant money to help groups across the country deliver after-school programs for the 2012-2013 term. Groups received grants ranging from $25,000 to $40,000.
The Davenport-Perth Neighbourhood Centre, a fixture on Davenport Road at Symington Avenue, received $39,000 to ramp up its after-school activities, particularly for kids six and seven years of age, according to the interim director of community support services.
“We realized there was a gap in terms of our middle-years programming,” Rachel McGarry told The Villager, Monday, Nov. 5.
Davenport-Perth provides programming for babies, toddlers and children up to six years of age and then eight to 18 years through arts and leadership courses, like 'Wize Up', which includes homework assistance and academic support.
“We’ve expanded our after-school social and recreational activities,” said McGarry. “We’ve got programs running each day of the week.”
To qualify for an RBC grant, organizations must offer structured and supervised activities for children between the ages of six and 17 and must focus on what RBC calls “the three Ss: safety, social skills and self-esteem.”
For more than a decade, RBC has provided more than $27 million to more than 240 community-based, after-school programs in Canada, helping approximately 29,000 kids. Grant recipients are selected with the help of local advisory panels.
“In the 13 years we’ve been funding after school programs, we’ve seen first-hand how kids enrolled in these programs are more confident and motivated to stay in school,” said Shari Austin, vice-president of corporate citizenship at RBC, in a statement. “We’re confident that all our new and returning grant recipients will have a tremendous impact in helping kids realize their potential.”
Of the 105 grant recipients, 22 are first-time recipients, including Davenport-Perth.
In addition to expanding programming for middle-aged children, the centre has increased its leadership and community engagement activities for its older youth. Its leadership program for grades 7 and 8 students, for example, builds pre-employment skills among youth.
“Skills that can help them in their first job, like developing their interpersonal skills and how they can communicate and engage in their community,” said McGarry.
Youth then go on to a placement within the centre so they can gain practical experience working at day camps or summer camps for the younger kids.