This area focuses on:

  • Success in School
  • Community Engagement and Leadership Development
  • Emotional and Physical Wellbeing

As the future of our community, and active citizens today, children and youth need to live and grow in a supportive, inclusive, and nurturing environment. It is important that they have the resources and opportunities to grow socially and emotionally, and feel included in our community. Investing now makes lasting and positive change in the lives of children and youth.

Partner Programs

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Chatham-Kent Go Girls/Game ON
Group programs, generally delivered in schools for girls and boys ages 9-14, which focus on teaching the importance of healthy bodies/healthy minds.
Contact: Nan Stuckey – 519-351-1582

Canadian Mental Health Association, L-K Branch Preventative Education
Aims to empower youth in Chatham-Kent to develop and maintain good mental health and advocate for and foster a community free from violence and discrimination due to mental illness.
Contact: Megan Walker – 519-436-6100 ext. 2237

Chatham-Kent Block Parent Program Inc. Education
Seeks to address the need of children in our schools and community to be protected from predators, luring, bullying, exploitation and general distresses.
Contact: Ruth Bossence – 519-354-0430 ext. 235

Chatham-Kent Children Services Autism Transitional Classroom
Aims to help educators teach children with Autism Spectrum disorders by providing temporary , but very intensive supports to adapt and apply the special education strategies in the least intrusive environment possible.
Contact:Dr. Tim Baker 519-352-0440

Dresden Sidestreets Youth Centre Drop In Program
A place where youth, aged 7 to 18, can go to feel wanted, encouraged, motivated, and be involved and productive members of their community.
Contact: Lori Ouellette – 519-683-2153

Erie St.Clair VON Kids Circle
Provides support for children and teens, in one-on-one and group settings, who are experiencing a life-threatening illness themselves or that of a loved one, as well as other experiences of bereavement.
Contact: Nicole Hunter – 519-352-4462

Learning Disabilities Association of Chatham-Kent Social Skills
B.E.S.T. Group teaches elementary aged children, who deal with impulsivity, distractibility, inattention and the inability to read and interpret social cues, how to manage situations in their everyday lives through games, role playing and modeling behavior. SOAR is a transition program for students in grades six to nine to promote knowledge and understanding of learning disabilities to enable children to advocate more effectively for themselves in school, post-secondary education and in the workplace.
Provides one-on-one assistance to struggling students.
Contact: Dawn Babkirk – 519-352-2024

Restorative Justice Chatham-Kent Positive Strides
An intervention/education program for either youth in the Pre-Charge Diversion (Conferencing) Program or at-risk youth.
Contact: Cecily Coppola – 519-380-0931

The Solid Rock Cafe Youth Centre Drop In Program
Designed to involve youth in productive activities and interactions that build self-esteem and positive outcomes.  Nightly activities minimize the risks of youth getting into trouble or causing havoc as a result of idle hands.
Contact: Ken McCorkle – 519-682-0625

YMCAs across Southwestern Ontario Beyond the Bell
An academic-based program that takes a holistic approach to the well-being of every child.  By emphasizing literacy, numeracy, recreation, homework help and values education the programs helps to close the achievement gap experienced by low-income children, compared to their middle-class classmates.
Contact: Amy Wadsworth – 519-360-9622

Direct Services

Operation BackPacks
This Good Neighbours program provides backpacks filled with grade appropriate school supplies for families and children in need.
Contact: Mary Symons – 519-354-0430

Youth Committee
Assists members to acquire leadership skills and make valuable connections in the community. By providing meaningful and engaging volunteer opportunities youth are able to obtain their 40 hours of volunteer service required to graduate.
Contact: Michelle Robbins – 519-354-0430

Youth Engagement Parternship
Inspiring and encouraging youth to engage in Chatham-Kent community life through coordinating and supporting local youth initiatives.
Contact: Erica Kitchen – 519-354-0430