Helping children reach their full potential and enabling immigrants to engage, contribute and thrive

In a community where everyone matters, we all deserve a good start. We all want to feel welcomed and supported through transitions so we can succeed, contribute and thrive. Investments in prevention and early intervention simply makes sense. Addressing issues and building support systems for people early on helps prevent problems from becoming more complex in the future. Also, it makes financial sense, investing early on costs far less than more complicated solutions later.

Why focus on beginnings & transitions?

1 in 3

Are not meeting literacy and numeracy standards established by the province.

1 in 4

Of London’s children and youth are overweight or obese.

87%

Of London children will experience vulnerability at some point in their childhood.

1 in 5

People in London are immigrants.

1 in 4

Women will experience domestic violence in their lifetime.

An example of how we respond to the issue

Almost 10,000 children in London and Middlesex accessed United Way funded free or low-cost summer or after school programming that helped to build self-esteem, gain friendships and enhance literacy.

768 kids from low-income homes attended a residential camp where they participated in activities that develop skills and foster healthy relationships and improve self-esteem.

Upon completion of a United Way funded mentorship program for newcomers 88% of participants indicated their ability to job search or find employment improved.

111 children who have witnessed family violence participated in a program at Women’s Rural Resource Centre designed to break the cycle of abuse.

Trends

Child and youth poverty is on the rise in London & Middlesex County. Often children and youth who live in poverty do not have access to healthy food choices. Therefore, offering low- or no-cost after-school programs that provide healthy food choices and nutrition education is critical.The average Canadian child (6-12 years of age) has roughly 67 hours of free time every week, with most of this time during after-school hours. Many children spend this time alone, so fun, safe and caring environments for children/youth or one-to-one mentoring programs ensure they are less likely to be subjected to the vulnerabilities that childhood can bring (Boys & Girls Club of Canada: After School the Time of a Child’s Life).

Providing active after-school programs ensures opportunities for children and youth to be physically active, and helps to prevent weight and health issues later in life, which in turn saves money in future health care costs.

Strategy

Studies confirm that children and youth who participate in quality after-school programs are more likely to become physically and emotionally healthy adults who have healthy relationships, are self-reliant, independent and participate wholly in society. After-school programs play a critical role in the healthy development of our children, which is why United Way London & Middlesex has invested $1,066,750 in a cluster of high-quality after-school programs proven to achieve results.

Anticipated community outcomes

 

Anticipated Community Outcomes_Page_3

If you have any questions, please contact:

Sara Middleton
Director, Community Partnerships & Investment
Ph: 519-438-1723
Ext. 223
SMiddleton@unitedwaylm.ca

Dakota HalfpennyBeginnings & transitions