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RBC Donates $2.6 Million to 99 After-School Programs Across Canada

TORONTO, November 17, 2011— The RBC After-School Grants Project announced that 99 community-based organizations across Canada will share $2.6 million in funding to provide after-school programs, including 15 new grant recipients. RBC has been supporting after-school programs since 1999, helping provide children with a safe, supervised environment for activities outside the classroom.

"Having funded 227 after-school programs since 1999, we know that children who participate in these programs have enhanced social skills and show increased motivation to excel in school," said Shari Austin, vice-president, Corporate Citizenship at RBC. "We are very proud that our grants continue to help community-based organizations provide engaging activities that keep kids safe, inspire them to learn and grow, while alleviating some pressures for working families."

RBC After-School Grant recipients represent a diverse range of community based organizations, and were chosen by members of the community. Each program will receive up to $40,000 from RBC. There are 15 first-time grant recipients, including:

BRITISH COLUMBIA

  • Chilliwack Central Elementary School - A grant of $40,000 will help this downtown school provide a free after-school program to about 50 children, five days a week. Children can get help with homework, enjoy daily story time, visit the local library, participate in a formal fitness program, and receive art instruction.
  • KB Woodward Elementary School - A grant of $40,000 will help this school, located in Surrey where half of the residents are newcomers to Canada, provide a free, daily program for 30 children aged 6-12. Many other community partners are engaged to help deliver tutoring, ESL and literacy, athletics, arts and music programs, computer workshops and a science program.

ALBERTA

  • The Airdrie Boys' and Girls' Club - A grant of $40,000 will help this organization start a new, daily after-school program for about 30 teens, aged 13-18. This program addresses a need for local children to have access to organized activities and homework help and will provide group and individual life skill development, a book club, and weekly volunteering opportunities.
  • The Cerebral Palsy Association - A grant of $40,000 will help this organization start a new after-school program for teens with disabilities. The funds will be used to purchase specialized equipment, develop programming and educational resources. Activities will include homework help, art, mentoring, healthy snacks, computers, music therapy, cultural trips and sports.

SASKATCHEWAN

  • YMCA King George Community School - A grant of $34,000 will help provide a daily after-school program for 35 First Nations children aged 6-12, with culturally-sensitive activities as well as swimming lessons, tours, and activities at the YMCA.
  • Boys and Girls Clubs of Regina - A grant of $40,000 will help the Boys and Girls Club deliver free programming for 20 children, aged 7 to 14, in Regina's inner-city, where youth face issues such as malnutrition, gangs, substance abuse and lack of access to social supports. Activities will focus on skill development and artistic expression in a safe environment.

MANITOBA

  • Boys and Girls Clubs of Winnipeg, Aberdeen Club - A grant of $40,000 will help this organization deliver a free, daily after-school program to about 25 children aged 6-14, many of whom are Aboriginal. Activities will include organized sports, art and performing arts, homework help, computer instruction and environmental programs.

ONTARIO

  • The Beyond 3:30 program/ Kane Middle School, Toronto - A grant of $40,000 will allow this organization, serving a neighbourhood where drop-out rates are increasing, to provide a free, daily after-school program to more than 40 children aged 11-14. The program will offer homework help, a Book Club, a Junior Chefs Club, sports, music activities, as well as provide a nutritious snack, and discussions about topics ranging from gardening to bullying.
  • Harmony for Youth, Sarnia - A grant of $40,000 will help this organization run an after-school program in a region where children often lack the resources and supports they need just to complete their homework. The free daily program will be open to 25 participants aged 4-18, and will provide tutoring, cultural activities, such as music, crafts, cooking, leadership skills, mentoring, nutritious snacks, computer support, and outdoor activities, 'pay it forward', and a bully-buster program.
  • Essa Public Library After School Program - A grant of $39,400 provides a daily after-school program for 40 children aged 8-13, including children from military families stationed at CFB Borden, who face additional challenges because of frequent moves from school to school. The program will provide daily homework help through peer-tutoring, physical activities and games, art and crafts, special guests, music and a nutritious snack.
  • Wasauksing First Nation - A grant of $40,000 will help this community provide a daily after-school program to 25 students aged 12-18. The program is intended to help students transition from a small elementary school to the nearby high school through activities that help build self-esteem in a safe environment. RBC's funds will be used to provide activities requested by the youth themselves, including sports, homework help, hand drumming and dancing, leadership opportunities through Drum Chiefs and Drum Kwee, access to a computer lab and nutritious snacks.

QUEBEC

  • Projet Harmonie, Montreal - A grant of $40,000 will help this organization provide a free, daily after-school program for 30 children aged 6-12. Children benefit from a range of activities including homework help, reading exercises, sports, music and even food-shopping expeditions to learn about the importance of good nutrition.
  • Centre communautaire Hochelaga, Montreal - A grant of $35,000 will help provide a daily after-school program for 25 participants aged 6 to 12. Children will get homework help and access to computers in a safe environment. The program also engages youth and seniors from the community so that participants can benefit from intergenerational connections.

ATLANTIC

  • Lower Sackville Boys and Girls Club, Nova Scotia - A grant of $35,000 will help provide a daily after-school program for 80 children aged 5-16. The funding will be used to add a new athletic program and math tutoring, to the current range of activities such as homework help, a reading club, swimming, arts and cultural activities, computer instruction and a science club.
  • Jello Tree After School Program, Shelburne County Youth Health and Support Association, Nova Scotia - A grant of $40,000 will help provide a free, daily after-school program for 30-35 participants aged 5 to 16. Activities include daily homework help, organized sports, art, leadership training, guitar, voice and song writing, as well as supervised time on computers, discussion groups/workshops by staff on topics ranging from addictions to healthy lifestyle choices, nutrition and bullying.

To be selected for a grant, after-school programs must offer structured and supervised activities for children between the ages of six and 17. The programs must focus on what RBC calls the "three Ss" -- safety, social skills and self-esteem. RBC's grants are used to provide a wide-range of activities including computer instruction, sports, literacy tutoring, music and art lessons, nutrition guidance, and homework help.

Since 1999, RBC has provided more than $25 million in grants to 227 after-school programs in Canada, helping more than 24,000 children. For more information, visit www.rbc.com/community/donations.

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For more information, please contact:

Jackie Braden, RBC Brand Communications,
(416) 974-1724, jackie.braden@rbc.com