Fort St. James added to After School Sport and Arts Initiative

SD 91 to share $150,000 in annual funding to be be used for after-school sport and arts programming

The B.C. government’s After School Sport and Arts Initiative (ASSAI) has expanded its program to include students in Fort St. James starting in the 2015/16 school year alongside two other communities.

School District 91 will now have opportunity to share in up to $150,000 in annual funding through the initiative that can be used for after-school sport and arts programming in both David Hoy Elementary and FSJ Secondary School for Graded K-8 said Charlene Seguin, Superintendent of SD 91.

“We’re very excited to have this opportunity,” she said. “And hope that some of the kids that perhaps haven’t had opportunities in the past will be able to take advantage of (the program).”

ASSAI currently receives $2-million each year, which is funded by the Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development, and supports children who may not have access to art or sport activities in their communities.

Seguin said there are a lot of ideas flowing for where the programming funds will go toward such as leadership activities for Grade 8 students and perhaps drumming or dance options may be up for offer. She added the details haven’t been confirmed for the programming as of yet, but the details will be worked out with a start date most likely in January 2016.

“It could be a three day a week program or a five day a week program. There’s no requirement for it to start in September so it may even start in let’s say January,” she said. “Those details will be worked out between (the schools).”

The expansion means children in Fort St. James will enjoy the many benefits of the program including develop healthy lifestyles and will be an opportunity for them to discover their passions, Seguin said.

“It gives kids an opportunity to do a little stretching of their talents in terms of art and possibly work on a bit of a healthy lifestyle.”