This school year, Londoners can expect to see Grade 5 students throughout the city getting a little more active thanks in large part to the Act-i-Pass Program.
The Act-i-Pass program, organized by London’s Child and Youth Network (CYN), is a pass that grants all Grade 5 students in London access to free recreational programming through the YMCA, the Boys and Girls Club, and the City of London. A variety of activities are offered through the program, including basketball, volleyball, swimming, golf, and skating, as well as drop-in programming which change weekly.
The program, which originated in Kingston, has been adopted by at least 10 other communities across Canada. Last year, the pilot program rolled out across 97 schools in London, which led to some promising results. In the pilot year, 250 students signed up. However, the 2014-2015 school year has proven that this program is in demand--more than 850 Grade 5 students have registered for the program, and more forms are coming in every day.
The success of the Act-i-Pass program is largely in part to the expansive network of organizations participating in the program. Originating as a project initiated by the Healthy Eating and Physical Activity priority of London’s Child and Youth Network, the project has taken off in the last year with the support of nine key partners: London District Catholic School Board (LDCSB), Thames Valley District School Board (TVDSB), City of London, Boys and Girls Club of London, YMCA of Western Ontario, Western University, Community Living London, Middlesex-London Health Unit, and Middlesex-London in motion™.
Here’s how the program works. The process started with the grade 4 students in Spring. In May, all schools in London were provided application packages for the grade 4 students in their school, and were invited to have a program representative visit their school to explain the program. The children were asked to return the registration forms before the end of the school year, and the registration forms were processed over the summer. This September, the students who registered for the program received their Act-i-Pass in the mail, along with the fall schedule and all the information they need on how to register for programs.
Now, if you know a Grade 5 student who hasn’t signed up for the program, don’t worry! Check their backpack because new registration forms have been sent to schools to go home with students who missed out on the registration process in the Spring. If the registration package is not there, ask your child’s teacher for more information or visit inmotion4life.ca.
Suggested Books to Sparks a Child's Interest in Physical Activity:
- Baseball Opposites and Baseball Animals by: Christopher Jordan
- Morgan On Ice by: Ted Staunton
- Skating School White Skate Wishes by: Linda Chapman
- Hothead by: Cal Ripken Jr.
- Rocket Man By: Jan L. Coates
Making Literacy Connections:
- Research a favourite sports figure....this is literacy!
- Review statistics of a player or team....this is literacy!
- Play Spot It NHL.....this is literacy!
- Engage in some sports trivia....this is literacy!
- Learn about the rules of a game.....this is literacy!