Start2Finish’s Mission is to break the cycle of child poverty by providing ongoing educational support to Canada’s at risk children throughout their school years, nurturing mind, body and social health so they are empowered to succeed and become role models for change.
Each year, thousands of Canadian youth will drop out of high school. This seemingly simple and personal act alters the course of their lives forever. It’s a move that costs them their education and future earning potential. Taken collectively, it costs their community by ingraining a culture of failure. Nationally, it costs our economy through a reduced employment pool and tax base, and an enormous strain on public expenditures.
Tens of thousands of youth in Canada’s lower-income neighbourhoods have the potential to succeed in school but are unable to overcome the barriers to education that are created by poverty. Low literacy as early as grade 1 increases the risk of a child dropping out of school by 134%, Insufficient financial means, lack of positive role models in the community, absence of parental support, and integration into a new country and culture, are all barriers that can make high school graduation seem like an impossible dream.
What does it cost to leave entire communities of kids behind?
- $307 billion – the estimated collective lifetime loss of earning potential of high school dropouts in Canada
- $115 billion – the estimated collective loss of tax revenue from high school dropouts in Canada
- $623 billion – the estimated collective private costs of health care over a lifetime for high school dropouts in Canada
What is the Solution?
The Start2Finish solution to child poverty is innovative and dynamic. Our Fitness and Literacy Model is rooted in volunteerism, children’s literacy, health, and education. Our community matrix, the engine that gives our programs sustainability, includes strong, lasting partnerships with businesses, schools and community groups, creating a “Pathway of Hope” that features comprehensive programs focused on academic achievement, physical fitness, nutrition and social interaction. This pathway includes our annual Backpack Program, which distributes backpacks filled with school supplies to the most at-risk schools across Canada; our Running & Reading Club weekly after-school program, which empowers children to improve their literacy skills, physical fitness and social and behavioural skills, and prepares them to achieve life-long success; our Junior Coach program which, is helps each student continue to build the confidence and ability they have obtained through the Start2Finish Running & Reading Club Program; and our Pathway of Hope Scholarship Program, which offers post-secondary scholarships to economically challenged high school students who demonstrate significant leadership, community service and academic excellence.