Carlington Community Health Centre provides a wide variety of programming in the communities of Carlington, Bellevue, Carleton Heights and Scott Hill/Van Lang in Ottawa. Some of the most successful programs the Centre runs are for children and youth, including two homework clubs, an after-school program and a youth drop-in program. In 2009, the Ottawa Community Foundation provided emergency funding for after-school program transportation, and supported various Carlington initiatives, including the new Keeping it Cool (KIC) program.
Carlington homework clubs provide an opportunity for at-risk youth to receive assistance with school work and develop social and leadership skills in a community setting. In 2009, Carlington began a new after-school program for elementary school students that targets children in the Carlington neighbourhood. In addition to offering assistance with homework, the goal of the program is to promote healthy lifestyle choices by providing increased opportunities for physical activity, as well as access to healthy snacks and information related to healthy eating and self care.
Carlington also leads the Keeping it Cool (KIC) program, which is a Coalition of Community Health and Resource Centres of Ottawa initiative. Keeping it Cool is an intensive, community-based program designed to assist youth aged 12-17 whose expressions of anger are having a negative impact on themselves, their relationships and their communities. KIC creates a safe, supportive environment for young people to learn alternative ways of responding to the difficult and/or stressful situations they face in their everyday lives. Based on a systemic view of change, the program integrates individual, family, and community interventions in order to build upon the skills and unique abilities of the youth.
One of the other key initiatives the Community Foundation supports is Carlington’s work with the Community Development Framework, a city-wide program to address neighbourhood-based issues through community capacity-building. “We’re very proud to have taken on the leadership role for the Carlington Community Development Framework,” said Janet Bowes, Program Director at the Carlington Community Health Centre. “The positive effects of this program are already being felt at the neighbourhood level. Funding provided by the Ottawa Community Foundation has allowed us to conduct further outreach and supported a number of successful community activities. With this kind of community support, we are beginning to see systemic change in the neighbourhood. ”