Toronto - One hundred and eighty-sixyouth will join the ranks of those running Focus On Youth Program initiatives across the city after completing intensive three-day health and safety training today through the City of Toronto.

The training is an important aspect of the partnership between the City of Toronto and the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) to provide summer programs for youth from at-risk neighbourhoods across the city.

“This training, and the many City-run programs at our schools, are yet further examples of the great things that can be accomplished when government and public sector agencies work together to focus on positive goals for children, youth, and families,” said Bruce Davis, TDSB Trustee and Chair of the Focus on Youth Steering Committee.

The City of Toronto, through its Parks, Forestry and Recreation Department, Toronto Public Library, Toronto Health and the Toronto Community Housing Corporation, is the largest individual provider of programs for children and youth under the Focus on Youth Program, made possible by $4 million in funding from the Ministry of Education.

The Ministry provided the funds to allow the TDSB and the Toronto Catholic District School Board (TCDSB) to host 161 agencies that are providing high-quality recreational, learning, leadership, and employment opportunities for thousands of youth in priority neighbourhoods across the city.

“Opening our schools for positive activities for youth is an investment in our city,” said Toronto-Danforth Councillor Paula Fletcher. “It makes the best use of our collective resources for giving our kids positive choices and opportunities.”

As part of the Focus on Youth Program, the TDSB-City of Toronto relationship provides:

  • The TDSB providing the City 15 sites to expand Parks, Forestry and Recreation (PFR) Department programming;

  • The TDSB providing the Toronto Community Housing Corporation (TCHC) eight sites for programming;

  • The TDSB rebating PFR $217,000 to pay for expanded programming;

  • The TDSB placing 50 student employees with PFR and 25 student employees with TCHC to support programming. These students are recruited from priority neighbourhoods and are being paid by the TDSB;
  • PFR agreeing to hire up to 60 additional camp leaders and camp organizers from priority neighbourhoods to help with programming;

  • PFR to train up to 200 TDSB student employees during the first three days of the program.

“The City of Toronto and the Toronto District School Board are both dedicated to doing their parts to better the lives of our shared communities,” said Councillor Joe Mihevc, St. Paul’s. “Our relationship has only been strengthened through our shared efforts in the Focus on Youth Program.”

The Focus on Youth program opens the doors of 108 TDSB and TCDSB schools for community groups to provide young people in the City of Toronto opportunities for fun, positive activities this summer.

All programs will be fully operational on Monday and run through mid- to late August.

For further information on Focus on Youth and the many programs, please visit: http://www.focusonyouthtoronto.org/