On any given day, thousands of children arrive home from school to an empty house.
Kids between the ages of 5 and 13 who take care of themselves with no adult supervision before and after school on a regular basis are at increased risk of obesity, poor academic performance, isolation, and high-risk behaviours. Participating in quality out of school programs increases protective factors and the likely hood that kids will develop social and emotional competencies and a positive sense of themselves.
Unsupervised time can make children independent but sometimes can lead to challenges and adverse outcomes. School performance tends to be lower in latchkey children. Children tend to go home and spend time in front of screens rather than engage in more stimulating activities.
In Calgary, it is estimated that children and youth spend only 60 % of their waking hours at school, or doing homework, eating, sleeping and attending to personal care needs. This leaves kids with a great deal of discretionary time each week. What happens to children and youth during these “free” or “leisure” hours plays a critical role in their health, learning and development.
According to the 2015 ParticipACTION Report Card, only 9% of 5-to 17-year-olds in Canada meet the daily recommendation of at least 60 minutes of MVPA(moderate-to vigorous- intensity physical activity).
Our eight Clubs impact over 1000 lives with safe spaces during critical hours outside of school. Programs emphasize leadership development; education and career exploration; community service; technology training; financial literacy; health and life skills; the arts; sports, fitness and recreation; and family outreach. Each program work to increase self-confidence, improve social and emotional understanding and build skills in learning for every child, youth or family in our programs.
Clubs embody our value of belonging by creating a family environment that our members and their families overwhelmingly describe as a “second home”.