The Skwah First Nation Child and Youth Program was developed in collaboration with and using primarily the expertise of members of this community. Without the parents and adult members of this community, this program would not exist, so first and foremost a big thank you on behalf of the staff and all the wonderful young participants to all of you for allowing this program to grow as it has over the past few years.
This program in its current incarnation has been staffed by a number of individuals, and in particular attempts to recruit in house as much as possible. In fact, one key element of this program that stands to this day and will into the future as well has been the use of youth assistants. This is a mutually beneficial arrangement whereby they can claim their hours here for work experience for high school graduation, be nominally remunerated, and contribute to the growth of their community.
This program runs a twice a week, Tuesdays and Fridays. Tuesdays have a school and reading focus. For example, kids are encouraged to bring their own homework if they have any, and if not grade appropriate work is supplied. Fridays are primarily the physical exercise and activity component. This may take the form of ice skating or swimming as regular activities, or sports days and other one off events as well. This allows the participants to develop both a healthy mind and healthy body during programming.
At the end of each month we open a Star Store. This is a reward for the accumulation of stars that participants earn throughout the month for positive behaviours such as kindness, doing school work, helping prepare food, clean up, and so forth. Stars earned throughout that month are then used to purchase small items and treats. Stars can never be rescinded or taken away, and thus far all the kids have responded incredibly well, often raising their own level of willingness to be helpful and do schoolwork in response to the Stars program.
Seasonal activites are highlights as well, such as trips to waterslides, Christmas activities, field trips, etc, and are open to all family members.
Nothing you do for a child is ever wasted.