Backgrounder - Ontario government providing more funding to open schools evenings and weekends to youth and community groups



    TORONTO, Feb. 5 /CNW/ - The Ontario government is investing $33 million
in the Community Use of Schools program for 2008-09, a significant increase
over the previous year's investment, making it more affordable for youth,
seniors and adults to use local schools for their meetings, practices and
other activities.
    The program and its funding will continue to grow over the next few
years, reaching $66 million by 2011-12. This includes:
    
    -   $43 million - more than double the current annual funding - to
        further decrease rates and increase access after hours
    -   $17 million in annual funding to make after-hours access free-of-
        charge in priority schools. These are schools in targeted communities
        where there is a strong need for access to community space
    -   $6.4 million to fund Outreach Coordinators across the province.
        Outreach coordinators will assist with:
        -   Helping school boards and the ministry to strengthen CUS programs
            by monitoring and providing feedback
        -   Making sure that boards and schools are working together to
            maximize the effectiveness of the program
        -   Conducting outreach activities to encourage more groups to take
            advantage of the Community Use of Schools program
        -   Expanding activities for students outside of the school day.
    

    How does Community Use of Schools help?

    Ontario's schools are community hubs where all people can stay active,
gather to learn, and participate in the activities of community-based
organizations. The Community Use of Schools program helps students, parents
and members of the community to be more active in a safe and healthy
environment.
    The government provides funding to school boards so they can make school
space more affordable for use after hours. Both indoor and outdoor school
space is available to not-for-profit community groups at reduced rates.

    
    Disponible en français

                              www.edu.gov.on.ca
                           www.ontario.ca/progress
    





For further information:

For further information: Michelle Despault, Minister's Office, (416)
212-3747; Patricia MacNeil, Communications Branch, (416) 325-2676; Public
Inquiries: (416) 325-2929 or 1-800-387-5514, TTY: 1-800-263-2892

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Ontario Ministry of Education

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