The Revelstoke Afterschool Society board, from left to right. Rajan Chhinji Cormier, Jessica Semenec, Linsay Walker, Marta Savill and Joanne Gawler (sitting). Missing from photo is Keri Knapp. (Liam Harrap/Revelstoke Review)

New Revelstoke afterschool care group seeking public support

The non-profit society aims to start operating this fall

A non-profit aiming to launch afterschool care is looking for financial support.

The Community Initiatives and Affected Areas Program, one of Columbia Basin Trust’s oldest programs, funds local projects each year.

The money available this year in Revelstoke totals almost $400,000 and is distributed by the City of Revelstoke.

The Revelstoke Afterschool Society is one of the programs hoping to get funds.

The society said afterschool care is difficult to find and expensive. Since school in Revelstoke operates from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., it’s hard to find a job that matches, said Joanne Gawler, executive director.

“It’s maddening,” she said. The society is aiming to open and provide afterschool care this September.

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Because of the schools’ schedule, it can be a barrier for some parents trying to re-enter the work force, said Marta Savill, another board member.

Life is expensive in Revelstoke and many parents have to work multiple jobs, continued Savill.

According to the province, the average family income in Revelstoke is just below $80,000 per year, which is 13 per cent below the provincial average.

“People are having to scramble and find creative ways to look after their kids,” Savill said.

“It’s a juggle fest.”

The society is hoping to get $10,000 from the Columbia Basin to help subsidize parents who cannot afford childcare. The charge per child will be $25 daily and the society will have up to 24 spots available.

The program will also be outdoor focused and take kids to playgrounds, parks and the Greenbelt.

“Kid’s don’t need plastic toys and screen time. A mud puddle is always better,” said Gawler.

READ MORE: Non-medical masks now recommended when distancing not possible: Canada’s top doctor

While the aim is to have students from all three elementary schools, this fall the program might only include students from Begbie View Elementary due to bussing complications.

The program will be for ages five to 10. The staff ratio will be 1:6 for kids, which is twice the provincial requirements.

The Revelstoke Afterschool Society said they will launch their website next month for registration.

The Revelstoke Afterschool Society is one of 40 programs hoping to get funds from Columbia Basin Trust. Other projects include a moccasin making workshop at the Aboriginal Friendship Society of Revelstoke, the food bank at Community Connections and the spray and neuter program at Revelstoke and District Humane Society.

The public is invited until May 27 to submit input online for which programs should get funding.



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