York Street ULTIMATE is a community project designed to connect children aged 6-12 with interactive, stimulating, and educational recreational programming by providing a full day March Break camp in a priority, low-income Ottawa neighbourhood.
When it comes to recreational programming, children from such neighbourhoods are often unable to explore various recreational facilities and activities due to their limited financial situation. York Street ULTIMATE will provide a link that will connect them with the following activities in a camp setting:
• The exploration of various facilities where children are engaged in recreation and learning
• Workshops that introduce children to various fields of interest such as baking, music, and science
• Interactive activities that encourage leadership, team work, and strategic thinking
By providing this camp, our participants will explore their creative interests and passions, build leadership and interpersonal skills, play in a safe environment that focuses on their well-being, and create cherished friendships.
The York Street ULTIMATE idea originated in 2010 by Muhammad Zaman and Fahd Alhattab, two child and youth workers from Ottawa who grew up rooted to the Lowertown community, and who noticed a particular need for enhanced recreational programming in Lowertown, Ottawa.
The following factors contributed to the development of the York Street ULTIMATE camp:
• NEED: There is a lack of affordable, supervised programming available for English speaking children aged 6-12 during the March Break. Programs are available for toddlers, and older youth.
• COST: Most private recreational programs and facilities for children are distant and costly.
• PREVENTION: Lowertown is known for its high crime rates, and children playing within the area should be shielded from the illicit activities as much as possible.
In turn, the mandate of the project is to provide:
• A no-cost, barrier-free day camp program during the 2012 March Break (March 12th – 16th, 2012)
• A safe, healthy, and nutritious environment for children to play and learn during their school break
• A camp that thrives on building child potential, leadership, interpersonal skills, and experience.
• Leadership development opportunities for youth volunteers involved with the planning and delivery of the camp. (Note: York Street ULTIMATE is organized and run entirely by youth volunteers)
YSU works in collaboration with staff and resources from the Lowertown Community Resource Center, a non-profit social agency that provides community and social services to individuals and families residing in Lowertown, Ottawa. Visit their website at www.crcbv.ca.