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Keeping youth engaged in Winnipeg

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Burrows MLA Melanie Wight visits the amazing Gilbert Park Youth Co-op at work. From left to right: Paul Harper, Nathan Spotted Eagle, Amin Bangura, and Wight.

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Burrows MLA Melanie Wight visits the amazing Gilbert Park Youth Co-op at work. From left to right: Paul Harper, Nathan Spotted Eagle, Amin Bangura, and Wight. Photo Store

This summer, I decided to get the word out on some of the positive things our youth are up to in Burrows, because so often we concentrate on the negative.  

Fortunately, the good stories are easy to find. I’ve posted a few short videos of young people’s success stories on my Facebook page, so everyone can see that the positives could fill this paper many times over.

Any parent can tell you that the summer months can be a long time to keep kids entertained and engaged. There are a multitude of programs in the North End that young people are really enthusiastic about. Our provincial government funds many of these summer learning programs because we believe in investing in our youth.

The Community School Investigators (CSI) at Shaughnessy Park is a learning enrichment program that helps prevent summer learning loss by getting kids engaged in literacy projects, science development and cultural field trips. Youth co-ops at Gilbert Park and Elwick Community Centre help teens develop entrepreneurial skills through working and decision-making.

Wayfinders is another gem in our community that helps students develop life skills through tutoring, career exploration, community mentorship and community service. The students who participate also earn credits towards graduation. The Winnipeg Aboriginal Sport Achievement Centre (WASAC) also runs a huge program with fun sports, smudging, healthy snacks, and even a cultural component for young people in Burrows.

Many of the teens that go through the program return to WASAC as adults to work with the next generation. Even our own Kevin Chief, Minister of Children and Youth Opportunities, is a former director of WASAC.

Our children and youth have also spent the summer gardening, painting murals, participating in powwow clubs, playing cricket, volunteering and performing at Folklorama. They’re learning, exploring the arts, working, and volunteering. They’re engaged in their community and generally making the world a better place.

To see videos of what the youth in Burrows were involved in this summer, please stay tuned to MelanieWightMLA on Facebook. If you know young people who are interested in volunteering or if you have questions about things happening in the community, please give us a call at 204-421-9414 or send an email to Melanie.Wight@YourManitoba.ca

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