Below are the locations of the Running & Reading Clubs in the region:
regional DIRECTOR: kristan
At Start2Finish, we aim to break the cycle of poverty for children and youth across the country. In London, we have a higher than average rate of child and youth poverty. In 2013, 24% of our children and youth lived below the poverty line and the trend is increasing.
With higher poverty levels come higher percentages of mental health problems. Ontario sees a rate of 1 in 5 children living with mental health issues. We know that one of the many ways to reduce these issues is through consistent physical activity, as provided by our Running & Reading program.
It is recommended that children and youth get at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity daily. A 2011 Physical Health report card showed that most children and youth spent their time from after school until supper mostly sedentary. Only 7% of Canadian children are meeting the recommended MVPA guidelines. Our program allows us to mentor and influence children and youth in their physical activities. Each week, each participant will engage in at least 1 hour of structured high intensity physical activity, which is necessary for mental health and school success.
While many schools and the city of London provide us with many options for after school activities, it has been shown that lower income families are less likely to participate in organized after school activities/sports. Since we work primarily in schools with high rates of financial poverty, we are providing families with another program to take advantage of. Having the program run at the school, immediately after school means that participation is easier than with some other programs.
London’s literacy levels are also lower than average. According to 2015 EQAO results, the entire Thames Valley District School board was below average for both grade 3 and grade 6 reading and writing scores. In the 5 schools we work in, the scores are even lower. When compared to the provincial average, our schools are up to 30% lower in our success rates on the EQAO writing scores and up to 25% lower for reading.
Start2Finish’s Running & Reading program helps students form healthy relationships with adult mentors, physical activities, and literacy activities through a weekly program. We need volunteers like you to build relationships with our children and help install a healthy mindset within each participant. A small amount of time on your part can reap significant benefits for these children and youth.
Please contact me to start the volunteer process. We need you!