RBC invests in safer places for kids to learn and play in the GTA

TORONTO, Jan. 29, 2013 /CNW/ - Good after-school programs can help kids stay in school, graduate, and go on to realize amazing things.  But without proper funding, these programs might not be available to the families who need them most.

Yesterday, the RBC Foundation announced grants of more than $370,000 to 14 after school programs across the GTA:

  • Community Action Resource Centre in Toronto
  • Davenport-Perth Neighbourhood Centre
  • Native Child and Family Services of Toronto
  • Ralph Thornton Community Organization
  • San Romanoway Revitalization Association
  • St. Alban's Boys and Girls Club
  • St. James Town Family Literacy Services
  • St. Leonard's Society of Metropolitan Toronto
  • St. Stephen's Community House
  • Thorncliffe Neighbourhood Office
  • Toronto Council Fire Native Cultural Centre
  • Toronto Foundation for Student Success
  • Warden Woods Church and Community Centre
  • YMCA of Greater Toronto

To celebrate the announcement, Adrienne Kress, author of children's books Alex and the Ironic Gentleman and Timothy and the Dragon's Gate held a special reading in Regent Park's Daniel's Spectrum for more than 100 kids and staff from recipient programs. The children were also entertained by performances by Drum Artz Canada and a motivational and engaging speech by two-time World Sledge Hockey Challenge champion, Kevin Remple.

"Reading is such an important part of every child's educational development" said Kress. "And just like reading, after school programs can help kids learn new skills, self-esteem, and ignite a passion for learning."

Helping children learn is one of the best investments a company can make, and RBC has been supporting after-school programs across Canada since 1999.  But they didn't come up with the idea all by themselves.

"We asked some of Canada's top education experts where we could make a real difference" said Niranjan Vivekanandan, RBC regional vice president. "They came back with one answer - after school programs."

The RBC After School Grants Project is a multi-year philanthropic commitment to support community-based organizations that provide programs for children and youth aged 6-17 with structured, supervised activities that enhance safety, social skills and self-esteem.

Since 1999, RBC has provided more than $27 million in grants to 248 community-based after school programs in Canada, helping almost 29,000 children.

For the 2012-2013 school year, RBC donated more than $2.7 million to 105 organizations: 22 of these were new and 83 were renewals.

To be selected for a grant, organizations providing after school programs must offer structured and supervised activities for children between the ages of six and 17. The programs must also focus on the "three Ss" -- safety, social skills and self-esteem. The grants are used to provide a wide-range of activities including computer instruction, sports, literacy tutoring, music and art lessons, nutrition guidance, and homework-help.

Panels of local citizens help RBC choose which organizations will receive grants across Canada. Each of the programs receives between $20,000 and $40,000 for the duration of the school year.

About RBC
Royal Bank of Canada (RY on TSX and NYSE) and its subsidiaries operate under the master brand name RBC. We are Canada's largest bank as measured by assets and market capitalization, and are among the largest banks in the world, based on market capitalization. We are one of North America's leading diversified financial services companies, and provide personal and commercial banking, wealth management services, insurance, corporate and investment banking and investor services on a global basis. We employ approximately 80,000 full- and part-time employees who serve more than 15 million personal, business, public sector and institutional clients through offices in Canada, the U.S. and 51 other countries. For more information, please visit rbc.com.

Image with caption: "Adrienne Kress and Kevin Remple celebrate RBC After School Grants with kids from Thorncliffe Neighbourhood Office after school program. (CNW Group/RBC Royal Bank - Public Affairs & Community Relations)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20130129_C9328_PHOTO_EN_23088.jpg

SOURCE: RBC Royal Bank - Public Affairs & Community Relations

For further information:

For more details, contact:
Mark Hamill
Director, Communications, RBC

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