REACH Foundation’s new Reach for the Stars program is one of the 10 programs being supported by United Way funds this year. This program aligns with the United Way’s goals to end poverty by focusing on children, youth and their families who are living in, or at risk of living in, poverty.
Reach for the Stars, a new program developed in partnership between Reach Foundation, Boys and Girls Club of Charlottetown and Birchwood Intermediate School, has been awarded two years of funding under the United Way’s Community Investment Grant Program, beginning in 2019.
“The United Way of PEI is much more than just a program funder”, states Andrea MacDonald, CEO of the United Way. “We strengthen the community sector by providing direct supports like training, professional development and resources, but most importantly by connecting other organizations with similar ideas, passions and goals. We do this to help build stronger PEI communities. Reach for the Stars is a program that represents exactly what we are trying to achieve right here on our Island.”
Reach for the Stars is an innovative after-school pilot program for junior-high aged youth at risk of experiencing mental health and addiction challenges. The program provides life and employability guidance while helping participants build confidence, develop healthy connections and learn valuable skills to help them be successful.
“The after-school hours are the most vulnerable part of a young person’s day”, shares Teresa Hennebery, Executive Director of the REACH Foundation. “By providing structured opportunities, safe spaces and healthy role models we hope to reduce risky behaviours and negative coping strategies, all while improving overall resiliency, self-confidence and school engagement and performance.”
Staff are busy making plans for the start of the program, scheduled for mid-October.
“We are so pleased to be working with REACH Foundation on this program”, says Amanda Beazley, Executive Director of the Boys and Girls Club of Charlottetown. “Both of our agencies have worked together to plan, and now implement, this initiative that is greatly needed for young people on our Island.”