WINNIPEG, MB – The University of Winnipeg’s Eco-Kids programming has achieved membership with Actua, a national organization dedicated to providing life-changing science, engineering and technology experiences that inspire all youth to achieve their potential and fulfill their critical role in the world. The Eco-U Summer Camp program, now in its fifth year, welcomes the resources and financial support of Actua.
The popular Eco-U camp is a Community Learning initiative offered at UWinnipeg that has grown to become the largest day camp for inner-city children in Winnipeg. In the last four years, approximately 2,900 children have attended Eco-U Summer Camp from 30 inner-city schools.
The children participate in engaging science and environmental activities with a focus on Indigenous science. The camp aims to address summer learning loss and the barriers to participation commonly faced by inner-city children and youth. The camp is free-of-charge, transportation is included, and a nutrition program provides two healthy snacks and lunch to every participant. In addition, each child receives supplies, T-shirts, re-usable water bottles, and canvas bags. The camp is funded by generous donors including funding through its membership with Actua.
“We are thrilled to welcome UWinnipeg into our growing network of member organizations across Canada. Together we are making a significant contribution to the development of the next generation of innovators,” said Jennifer Flanagan, Actua CEO. “By engaging youth early, before career decisions are made, we are in a strong position to build their self-confidence and inspire them to consider amazing futures for themselves.”
Each year since its inception, the number of children that have registered and participated in the Eco-U Summer Camp has grown: there were 385 participants in 2007; 630 participants in 2008; 781 participants in 2009; and 1120 participants in 2010, and each year there is a waiting list.
As registrations are received from as many as four times the number of spots available, a recruitment strategy has been developed and implemented in which teachers, principals and school social workers are given the opportunity to identify the children that would most benefit.
“Our mission is to bridge the graduation gap so that all youth can achieve a post-secondary education,” said Dr. Lloyd Axworthy, President and Vice-Chancellor, UWinnipeg. “This is about transforming lives, reaching out to our youngest citizens and creative minds and saying loudly and clearly: Your dream matters and with generous funding partners like Actua, we are able to give you the tools you need to fulfill your potential.”
The Eco-U Summer Camp runs from the beginning of July to the last week of August at the Sargent Park Arena and The University of Winnipeg campus. The Eco-U Summer Camp hires junior leaders from inner-city and north end high schools, and senior leaders from high schools and universities. The youth employed by the camp gain valuable work experience as well as being highly trained throughout the school year in courses such as First Aid and CPR, Level 1 coaching, level one refereeing, conflict management and leadership development.
Diane Poulin, Communications Officer, The University of Winnipeg
P: 204.988.7135, E: email@example.com