Surrey: The community of Guildford has received a provincial grant of over $16,000 to support programs that are preventative against youth involvement in crime. The grant will fund Guildford’s ‘MYzone’ and ‘I AM Game’ programs as well as initiatives to connect residents in financial need with opportunities to participate in recreation activities, with a specific focus on youth 8-18 years.
“Investing in programs for at-risk youth is a component of the City’s Crime Reduction Strategy,” says City of Surrey Mayor, Dianne Watts. “Offering affordable, high quality recreational programming to young people who need it helps to increases their chances of lifelong success.”
Research shows that after-school hours, specifically between 3-6PM, are ‘critical hours’ for children and youth when they make choices to become involved in either positive or negative activities. Studies have demonstrated that sport and recreation programs can have a positive effect on a range of prevention outcomes.
“We know currently that many at-risk youth today are not connected to any services, or connected in a very limited way,” says Councillor Linda Hepner, Chair Parks, Recreation and Sport Tourism Committee. “This funding will build capacity and enhance the programming offered in Guildford to provide additional support.”
MYzone is a low-fee, structured, drop-in afterschool program for children ages 8 to 12, designed to support whole child development and increase social/emotional well-being. I AM Game is a drop-in gym program that works to provide skill building sport opportunities for youth, with a component on social-emotional building.
The funding for this grant program has become available through proceeds from civil forfeiture. The Civil Forfeiture Act came into effect in April of 2006 with the goal of targeting the profit motive behind illegal activities. Funds are being distributed by the Civil Forfeiture Office (CFO) in partnership with the Victim Services and Crime Prevention Division (VSCPD), Ministry of Justice. Project funding is one-time only in nature.