Beyond "Canada's Worst Neigbourhood": Healthy Kids Under the Rainbow
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Uploaded on Jul 30, 2010
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In 2007, Maclean's magazine called North Central Regina "Canada's Worst Neighbourhood"...
At the Rainbow Youth Centre, we didn't believe that... more importantly, we didn't much care what Maclean's thought.
The label doesn't matter. What counts is what we can do to make things better.
For more than a quarter century, Rainbow has been working with the young people of North Central.
From humble beginnings with 3 staff working from rented space in an abandoned creamery building, Rainbow now has more 3 dozen workers and owns its own building; a former church located across from a playground in the heart of North Central.
Five major program areas: YouthCARE, Young Parent Program, Road to Employment, Youth Skills and Kids First provide programs at the Centre and in the community.
The programs have grown to satisfy needs or to deal with problems in the community.
Today, one major problem facing all Canadians, but especially those in low-income and First Nations families, is that of overweight and obese children.
Over the years, Rainbow has offered physical activities and an evening meal program for young people. Our Kids First visitors and our Young Parents staff have provided parents information on healthy diets for themselves and their children.
What we want to do now is combine the best of those -- and the best of what others have found everywhere -- into a single program focused on promoting healthy weights that integrates all of these:
• education for parents on nutrition, meal planning, and budgeting;
• help with transportation and shopping;
• access to and training for young people in healthy activities, sports and games.
And, importantly, we want to work with health and fitness experts to measure the outcomes of our activities, the ongoing effects on the young people and their families.
We want to take what works and discard what doesn't... to make our program better and develop something others can duplicate in their communities.
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