In 2008, representatives from Flamborough school parent councils, home and school associations, local government and the community came together to form a single voice as The Waterdown Education (WE) Group. Initially the WE Group formed to address the school accommodation crisis in Waterdown. Working closely with the Hamilton Wentworth District School Board, the WE Group was successful in securing a major high school expansion and two new elementary schools.
Following this success, it was envisioned that the WE Group would continue to function in the future to:
- Advocate for issues affecting the education of students in Flamborough
- Create awareness of education issues to the community
- Promote co-operation and the exchange of information between school councils and home and school associations
- Work with all levels of government and school boards for the betterment of student learning and education
In November 2009, members of the WE Group met with representatives from local schools, Hamilton Police Services, Hamilton Public Health Services, The John Howard Society of Hamilton, Burlington and Area, Alternatives for Youth, HWDSB, Centre for Addiction & Mental Health, and local addiction agencies to discuss the increasing concern that parents in Flamborough had about youth drug & alcohol use.
- The most commonly used drugs by youth are alcohol (binge drinking), cannabis and tobacco
- Alcohol and drug use increases by age and grade
- Drugs and alcohol are perceived by students as being easily accessible
It was determined that we needed to move forward with a co-ordinated community effort that would educate and engage parents and build assets and resilience in our children. Agencies were already familiar with, and supported the Developmental Asset Approach from the Search Institute. It was determined that the “Healthy Communities – Healthy Youth” initiative, a national program also developed by the Search Institute to help families, schools and organizations implement the asset framework for positive youth development, was the perfect fit.
HC-HY envisions citizens and institutions joining together to create healthy communities for people of all ages, in which young people will thrive.
For more information go to www.search-institute.org