East York Strategy is a faith-based, community-supported initiative to reduce crime and create good. We have been operating in the Pape and Cosburn neighbourhood of East York for 10 years.
Considering the African Proverb “It takes a village to raise a child” East York Strategy seeks to connect youth with businesses in their community. By building bridges between youth and adult leaders within the community East York Strategy helps youth develop a sense of belonging and ownership in their community.
In 2006, under the leadership of Pastor Jim Parker and supported by local businesses a banquet was hosted bringing together church leaders, school leaders, local police, politicians, and other community leaders. With a desire to reduce crime and create good an action plan was developed which focussed on supporting and engaging youth in our community.
East York Strategy is built on four main pillars: Recreation, Employment, Mentoring, and Education.
Physical activity in a key factor for both physical and mental health. Providing safe, positive places for both structured and unstructured physical activity allows youth of all skill levels to engage in a variety of healthy activities. Youth can participate in any of six sport leagues throughout the year. Weekly drop in programs feature gym time, ping pong as well as music and dance.
East York Strategy provides resume and job application support. Many youth begin their employment search volunteering in East York Strategy programs and then go on to be hired in our summer camp or other local programs. Experiences and references from East York Strategy provide youth with the confidence and expertise to be successful in the job market. Connections developed with East York Businesses can provide a networking opportunity for youth in their job searches.
Providing positive role models and caring adults for at risk children and youth. East York Strategy believes that all youth will take mentors – they will model the leaders who they see in their community. Our youth naturally grow into the images of the adults they see around them. The mentorship program at East York Strategy is intentional about providing positive youth and adult role models for our young people to look toward.
Knowledge is a tool for life which we gain through education. East York Strategy supports formal education through homework support and working closely with local schools. Informal education is also promoted with instruction in both knowledge and skills in areas of sports, crafts, music, and science.