Community Supports For At-Risk Youth

    McGuinty Government Investments Helping Students Reach Their Goals

    TORONTO, June 16 /CNW/ -


    An additional 3,000 students who are struggling or at risk of dropping
out will now have access to adult role models in their schools.
    A $1.5-million government investment will help Big Brothers Big Sisters
of Canada provide these students with in-school mentors.
    To further help students succeed, the province is also providing an
additional $2.75 million to the following community organizations who provide
youth with customized and engaging learning opportunities:

    -   Boys 2 Men (Cabbagetown Youth Centre)
    -   Ontario Educational Leadership Centre
    -   Jane/Finch Caring Village
    -   Family Service Association
    -   Change your Future
    -   Frontier College.


    "We know that students who have caring adults in their life are better
engaged and achieve better results," said Education Minister Kathleen Wynne

    "When we share a little magic with our youth, the impact lasts a
lifetime," said Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada President and CEO
Bruce MacDonald.


    -   For more than 90 years, the Big Brothers Big Sisters program has made
        a difference in the lives of young people by providing a friend where
        one is needed.

    -   In Ontario, there are more than 13,000 youth being served in over
        400 communities through the Big Brothers Big Sisters program.

    -   Research has shown that a connection to a caring adult is an
        essential part of student engagement.

    -   The target for Ontario's graduation rate
        ( is
        85 per cent. In 2006-07, the rate was 75 per cent up from 68 per cent
        in 2003-04.


    Contact your local agency
    ( to
become a Big Brother or Big Sister.

    Improving outcomes for all students is part of the government's Student
Success Strategy (

                                                       Disponible en français


    The government has invested $4.25 million to help seven community
organizations provide services for students who are at risk of dropping out or
who struggle with school for a variety of factors. The following initiatives
support these youth and complement the government's plan to promote a strong,
vibrant publicly funded education system that is focused on improved student

    Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada received $1.5 million to give 3,000
students access to mentors in school. The organization provides one-to-one
mentoring programs for youth in more than 1,000 Canadian communities through
its 150 local agencies.

    Boys 2 Men (Cabbagetown Youth Centre) received $250,000 to provide
services to at-risk youth in Toronto. This is a program that was created for
boys who have no father in their lives. They are paired up with a male mentor
who can make a difference in the boys' lives by being a positive role model.

    Ontario Educational Leadership Centre received $700,000 to help make its
programs more accessible for at-risk students and to develop programs for
Aboriginal students. The centre provides students with a unique opportunity to
develop and enhance their personal and leadership skills.

    Jane/Finch Caring Village received $100,000 to help with tutoring, peer
mentoring and other social and educational supports offered to high
school-aged youth in the Jane-Finch community in Toronto. The village engages
youth through interactive learning in literacy, math, life skills and
activities that promote social justice.

    Family Service Association will continue providing services for at-risk
youth in Toronto through a $350,000 investment. For over 90 years, the
association has been helping families and individuals through counselling,
community development, advocacy and public education programs.

    Change Your Future will continue supporting diverse youth with an
investment of $350,000. Program counselors are placed in schools and encourage
students to overcome barriers, make the right decisions, set goals, build
confidence and engage in a self-help and self-discovery process.

    Frontier College will continue supporting high-needs areas and improving
literacy through training, workshops, conferences and volunteer programs with
a boost of $1 million. The college operates a variety of literacy programs and
has helped millions of Canadians improve their literacy skills.

                                                       Disponible en français

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

Organization Profile

Ontario Ministry of Education

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