Almost $80,000 was distributed last week to northwest B.C. community groups, schools and organizations from Northern Health last week and Prince Rupert was a big winner.
The city had three organizations receive four different grants from Northern Health’s IMAGINE Community Grant initiative, the most by any community on the list.
The Prince Rupert School District (SD52), Eagle Eye Archers and the Gitmaxmak’ay Nisga’a Society all received funding for their projects after applying for the grant.
The IMAGINE community grant promotes staying healthy and well and helps grassroots projects improve the health of those living, working and playing in northwest B.C.
Eagle Eye Archers received $5,000 in IMAGINE grant funding to purchase more equipment such as bows, arrows, targets and more and will be able to offer free sessions with Charles Hays Secondary (CHSS) students.
“We’re going to try to get them involved. The new equipment means we can get everyone shooting with the same equipment. It’ll be a big plus to get that,” said Eagle Eye president Fred Hutchings.
Hutchings applied for the grant and will be looking to use the funds before the end of the current season, which ends in approximately one month. Eagle Eye had been operating a Sunday morning program where any youth aged six to 19 can shoot for free.
In applying for the grant, the president was hopeful.
“You’re always optimistic. It seems like we met all their criteria and I guess we did … It’ll prepare us for when we start up again in September, we’ll have that equipment,” he said.
SD52 gained $5,000 for a yoga teacher training program set up by Lax Kxeen Elementary vice-principal Jean Marogna.
SD52 superintendent Sandy Jones was pleased to see the financial boost in the program.
“We have a graduate from Charles Hays – Mandy Lawson is coming to teach teachers on how to become certified kids’ yoga instructors and we’ve done quite a bit of yoga when we can in the schools already. It’s been very successful in terms of helping kids self-regulate and be mindful and help them reduce anxiety,” said Jones. Eight teachers have signed up for training, from all the elementary schools in the area.
Lawson has previously taught kids’ yoga in Prince Rupert while living in Costa Rica and has over 15 years of experience in the fitness industry and is fully certified in pre-natal and children’s yoga to be an instructor.
SD52’s second IMAGINE grant, another $5,000 boost, will be put toward Roosevelt Park Community School’s new outdoor exercise equipment project.
Funded in part by a donation from Macro Properties and efforts by the Roosevelt Parents Advisory Council, the outdoor exercise equipment is aimed to be built by the end of the summer near the school’s current playground.
“It’s intended for families all across Prince Rupert to come and use. What’s really special about it is it’s going to be catered and designed for kids aged five to 12,” said Roosevelt vice-principal Stephanie Coates.
Fully funded now, the equipment is from Little Tikes Commercial Play Structures and is designed to be durable in the Prince Rupert climate. School officials contacted the Jim Ciccone Civic Centre staff about how their outdoor exercise equipment has been received and adapted their project based on that feedback.
“We like the fact that we’re in walking distance of lots of residential areas and so we’re hoping that people will access it outside of school hours too. We have a big focus on daily physical activity at our school,” Coates said.
The Gitmaxmak’ay Nisga’a Society also received a grant for their Generating Good Food project.