An innovative partnership between the Province, the BC Recreation and Parks Association (BCRPA) and the Directorate of Agencies for School Health (DASH BC) means previously announced government funding for 1,000 before- and after-school arts and recreation spaces will go further thanks to those organizations’ existing partnerships and corporate sponsors.
“I’ve said it before: It takes a village to raise a child,” said Minister of Children and Family Development Stephanie Cadieux. “By putting our $2.4 million into the hands of our partner agencies who have the know-how and connections in the after-school care community, we believe we can grow 1,000 spaces into more than 5,000 over the next three years, which is good news for B.C. kids and their families.”
If the Ministry of Children and Family Development had pursued their initial plan, the estimated cost per space would come to $2,400. However, by leveraging the existing programs, partnerships and infrastructure that both BCRPA and DASH BC already have in place, the average cost per space is reduced to $480, allowing the Province to create significantly more spaces overall.
“We want to give every child in B.C. the best opportunity to thrive, and this partnership will help do just that. This funding will open more spaces for children to participate in a variety of before- and after-school recreation programs, from learning about nature, to discovering talents in art or sport, to simply focusing on the fun of play,” said Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development Peter Fassbender. “By building on the great work of DASH BC and BCRPA, we are expanding best practices and providing more opportunities for children to develop skills they will use throughout their lives.”
BCRPA will also receive funding to support more before- and after-school recreation spaces throughout the province. Currently, BCRPA works with more than 200 community partners throughout British Columbia. to support recreation programs that focus on physical activity, connecting with nature, culture or the arts. A provincewide call for applications will go up on BCRPA website on April 18 with priority going to communities that do not currently have after-school recreation spaces.
“Increasing children’s access to recreation spaces provides them with more opportunity to engage in healthy, active, and creative pursuits,” said Rebecca Tunnacliffe, CEO of BCRPA.
“Participating in a broad range of activities will positively affect kids’ physical and mental health, and contribute to their development into strong and resilient adults. With this funding, we can ensure these opportunities are available to children throughout the province.”
DASH BC will receive funding to expand their After School Sport and Arts Initiative (ASSAI), which provides children from kindergarten to Grade 8 with the opportunity to build their confidence and develop life-long skills through creative and physical activities. DASH BC will continue to work with School Districts over the coming months to deliver their ASSAI program in new communities. The funding will also help to expand current programs to provide access to more children and add before-school spaces.
“DASH BC’s ASSAI program provides opportunities for children to be active and creative in safe settings,” said Kathy Cassels, CEO of DASH BC. “The initiative supports children who may be facing barriers to participation to make strong connections to their peers and supportive adults, and to learn creative thinking and physical literacy skills that both contribute to healthy development and are used on the playground, at home and in school.”
By September of this year, 2,500 of the new arts and recreation spaces will be open to B.C. children and families, with the remaining 2,500 spaces opening over the next two years. Applications open April 18, 2017, at: https://www.bcrpa.bc.ca/
- The Directorate of Agencies for School Health (DASH BC) is a non-profit society committed to making a significant contribution toward positively influencing the health and learning capacity of students in B.C. They operate under the belief that healthy students are better learners.
- DASH BC’s ASSAI program, which launched in 2011, is a Premier’s Award-winning program that provides vulnerable students with after-school programming in 17 B.C. school districts, comprising 165 schools and 32 communities throughout the province.
- The BC Recreation and Parks Association (BCRPA) is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to enhancing the quality of life in British Columbia. The Association and its extensive network of members in the parks, recreation, physical activity and culture sectors support the development of healthy individuals and communities, as well as sustainable environments and economies.
DASH BC: http://dashbc.ca/
DASH BC After School and Sports Initiative: http://dashbc.ca/what-we-do/programs-initiatives/after-school-sport-and-arts-initiative/
For more information about child-care and early years supports in B.C., visit: https://news.gov.bc.ca/factsheets/support-for-child-care-and-early-years-in-bc