YARMOUTH, N.S. – The JStrong Fund continues to show its support to youth by making a donation to help students learn to swim and also expose them to cultural education.
The JStrong Fund is giving financial support to the Learn to Swim program for Grade 3 and 4 students of the Tri-County Regional School Board in Yarmouth County. Another aspect of this is a cultural component for students, the details of which are still being worked out.
Those involved with the JStrong Fund are excited to be part of this initiative and partnership.
Steve Berry, of the JStrong Fund, says at their September meeting they met with TCRSB superintendent Paul Ash and Martin Morrison, the board’s RCH coordinator, to discuss the concept of a learn to swim/cultural program. It was agreed to move forward with this and the JStrong group has been working with Grant Dunn, the board’s active healthy living consultant, to iron out the details.
“It was agreed the JStrong Fund would fund the 10-lesson program for every Grade 4 student. It was important to our committee to also incorporate a cultural component to this to celebrate the many cultures in our area,” says Berry. “This portion of the program will take place at the Yarmouth library. Final details and start dates are still being discussed but the original plan was to have things up and running by this spring.
“With our community's close connection to the ocean, and many of those who work on the water not being able to swim, it's nice to think someday the skills learned during this program could help save lives,” Berry adds. “We hope this is the first of many projects this partnership will produce.”
Dunn says many students will benefit from the Learn to Swim program, in addition to a program that “will build upon their understanding and knowledge of the wonderful cultural diversity we have here in Yarmouth.”
“These opportunities allow schools to reach out into the community and make learning hands-on and real,” he says. “The JStrong Fund has shown their commitment to our youth and communities. We are very fortunate to be involved in this partnership.”
TCRSB Superintendent Ash says while initially the program was geared towards just Grade 4 students in Yarmouth County, the goal is to increase it to include all Grade 3s as well.
“This year will be a gradual process of increasing grade and school involvement next year to full involvement of all students,” he says.
ABOUT THE FUND
The JStrong Fund was formed in memory of Yarmouth County teenager Jadon Robinson who, at the age of 17, died in a car accident in November 2015. He was a great lover of sport, playing baseball, hockey, golf and football. After his death, family and friends decided to start a fund that would assist youth in Yarmouth County to access sport.
As of December, the fund had surpassed the $10,000 mark in assistance, by assisting more than 50 young athletes in such sports as soccer, baseball, basketball, hockey, taekwondo, dance and swimming. It had provided assistance to softball and track and field teams, and sponsorship for two minor hockey teams. It had contributed to the Draft an Athlete Special Olympics program and was also a major sponsor of the Cook’s Cup Timber Mart high school hockey tournament that involved more than 230 high school boys and girls hockey players.
“One hundred per cent of funds raised goes back into the community to assist and promote youth in sport,” says Jadon’s sister Marla Robinson-Pyne, who says they are looking forward to their next big fundraiser for the fund, this being the JStrong Golf Tournament on June 7. Robinson-Pyne says a big part of the success of the JStrong Fund is the community support it receives.
“We would like to thank the people across the province and country who continue to support us and our cause,” she says. “We are so grateful to be able to help our youth, our communities and each other through all of your support. All of this in memory of a special young man who continues to make the world a little bit better.”