A joint announcement by The Honourable Rob Fleming, Minister of Education, and The Honourable Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General:  Twelve B.C. school districts receive a total of $1.12 million in gang-prevention funds. Moneys are in partnership with Boys Club Network for after-school programs and more. The 12 participating communities are: Abbotsford, Burnaby, Delta, Kamloops, Kelowna, Langley, Nanaimo, Prince George, Surrey, Vancouver, Victoria and Williams Lake.

Through the partnership with the Boys Club Network (BCN) – a non-profit organization that works to create safe spaces for boys aged 12 to 19 – after-school programs will be set up where they don’t already exist. As well, new district-specific high school elective courses (BCN’s board authority approved BAA curriculum ‘HOPE for Boys Leadership 11’) will be created that connect teen boys with positive adult role models and provide leadership and career development opportunities. The funds will be administered directly to school districts and schools, by the B.C. School Superintendents Association (BCSSA), and not to or through BCN.

Walter Mustapich, president and co-founder of the Boys Club Network, said young people benefit greatly from mentorship programs and other supports.  “If boys do not understand and value themselves and their human potential, and make enduring connections with positive adult male mentors and role models within their primary spheres of influence — family, school, extracurricular — they will seek connection elsewhere. Elsewhere can be dangerous, damaging, devastating.”   Download BC Government news release. Photo: Vikki Hopes/Black Press