Start2Finish (S2F) was born out of the vision of founder Brian Warren, former CFL Grey Cup Champion and inner city school teacher, which is to eradicate the effects of child poverty through education.
S2F has developed a comprehensive, measurable “Pathway of Hope” that features education-based programs empowering the children we serve from elementary school all the way to post-secondary. This pathway includes our Backpack Program, Running & Reading Clubs, Junior Coach Program, Daily 20, and Pathway of Hope Scholarship Program.
We have been making an impact in Calgary since 2015. We currently have 3 programs in the city serving 180 children, and will be expanding to one additional Calgary community in 2018-19, increasing our reach to 240 children. We have 45 Running & Reading Clubs across Canada providing a safe and inclusive environment for approximately 2,700 children in 6 provinces weekly, and this year we will achieve our current strategic goal of being in 50 communities.S2F’s introductory program, the Backpack Program, distributes backpacks filled with six months’ worth of school supplies to children living at or below the poverty line in Calgary. The backpack and school supplies provided to each child are valued at $125 per backpack including the bag itself. Start2Finish has invested thousands of dollars towards the education of Canadian children from low-income families through the Start2Finish Backpack Program.
The Running & Reading Club after-school program has seen even greater success. The Running & Reading Clubs are situated at inner-city schools in “communities of complexity” where there is a high percentage of working poor, single parent, new immigrant, ethnic minority and Aboriginal families. Currently Start2Finish has three Running & Reading Clubs in Calgary, at Bowcroft, Keeler and Erin Woods Schools, impacting 180 children (60 per Club), and we will be expanding to an additional location in the 2018-19 program year. These communities deal with a variety of issues including high levels of transiency, families struggling with poverty, as well as substance abuse. The Running & Reading Club addresses these barriers and empowers children by helping them develop physical, mental, academic, social and psychological agencies that will equip them to stay in school, graduate, and achieve lifelong success.
The Junior Coach Program is designed for Start2Finish R&R Club alumni and other youth who are entering the critical middle school transition years (grades 5-9). The program has been established to address high dropout rates by providing training and preparation for students entering high school, as well as the opportunity to develop leadership skills and “give back” by becoming Junior Coaches in the Club Program.
The Daily 20 program acts as a companion to the R&R Club and also as a stand-alone program. It was designed to help teachers meet the guidelines of the Alberta Daily Physical Activity (DPA) Initiative, and will be piloted in several Calgary schools in 2019-20. The initiative provides a full fitness training program, accessed online through video as well as in hard copy format, that requires no equipment, only a small amount of space, and very little work to do on the part of the teacher, making it implementable in any classroom. The program is flexible and can be administered all in one 20-30 minute session, or in smaller chunks of 5-10 minutes at a time throughout the day.
The final, important stepping stone in the Start2Finish “pathway” is our Pathway of Hope Scholarship Program. This program offers financial assistance to students from low-income homes who are continuing their education at the University or College level. Preference is given to students who are graduates of the Running & Reading Club program and/or Junior Coach Program. Applicants are required to demonstrate active community leadership and involvement as well as financial need.Superheroes don’t always wear capes. Your contribution makes a difference!
Here’s to your brain power! Invest your intellectual capital by sharing your expertise or special skills to help us grow our presence and programs in Calgary.
Every little bit counts! Give financially to one of our programs or make a general donation to help us expand in the region.
Run, read and be the “significant adult” in a child’s life! Volunteer with our weekly Running & Reading Club or Junior Coach Program, or at one of our one-day events like the year-end 5K Running & Reading Challenge!
One telling one becomes 100! Spread the word about Start2Finish and the work we’re doing to help reduce child poverty in Calgary’s communities!
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