More than a decade after Chatham-Kent Council approved the A.L.L For Kids (Activities, Lessons and Leisure for Kids) program in Chatham-Kent the program is continuing to open doors for youth in Chatham-Kent to access sports.
At a recent council meeting, Janet Raddatz, the Coordinator of the program, showed that in 2012, more kids and families in Chatham-Kent accessed the program, with 935 families, and 1544 children benefited from the program.
The program, which subsidizes recreational opportunities, including sports, to eligible low-income children and youth, has a $250,000 base funding, and receives support from local organizations each year including the United Way Women’s Leadership Council and Canadian Tire Jumpstart Program.
“Community programs and services that encourage children to be active, to socialize with their peers, and to play, help to decrease the obesity rates of Chatham-Kent children and youth,” says the report about the health benefits of the program. “Unfortunately, many families in Chatham-Kent also experience income insecurity; they are spending the majority of their income on food and shelter leaving little expendable income for children’s activities. A.L.L. for Kids levels the playing field; it provides the opportunity for all Chatham-Kent children and youth to be active and pursue opportunities they would otherwise not be able to do.”
“Sports and recreation help to prepare for future life experiences by developing all areas of the child –physical, social skills and a positive self-esteem. Unfortunately, many activities have costs that prohibit a portion of our population from participating.”
The 2012 numbers of 1544 children and 935 families are an increase over the 2011 figures of 1350 kids and 806 families.
Applications for the A.L.L. For Kids program can be found on the Municipality’s website by CLICKING HERE.