Ont. funding summer school programs in Toronto
C.W. Jefferys Collegiate is one of about 150 schools located in Toronto's troubled and poverty-stricken neighbourhoods that will remain open this summer to keep students busy and safe.
The Ontario government announced Wednesday it will give $4 million for schools in city-designated neighbourhoods such as Jane and Finch and Malvern.
The initiative, which implements supervised social programs and offers various sports, affects about 20,000 students in the public and Catholic school boards.
Students at C.W. Jefferys, where 15-year-old Jordan Manners was gunned down two weeks ago, lauded the move.
"I really think it's a good idea, it's better for us than just staying at home doing nothing," said one female student.
"It gives kids something to do and keeps them off the streets," added another teenager.
Parents also welcomed the plan.
"I myself have a 14-year-old and I'm kind of worried because I live in the area of Weston and Finch and there's nothing in the summertime for the kids to do," said one man.
"If you have money, you can send your kids to camp, you can send your kids to golf school ... when you don't have money and when your parents are stretched, it's very hard to cope just keeping the doors open or putting food on the table," said Trustee Bruce Davis, who chaired the planning group.
Some 380 students will also be given part-time jobs that pay $12 an hour.
The summer program initiative was put forward about a week before the high school shooting, but the Toronto District School Board was originally looking at a budget of about $100,000.
Manners' death gave the matter more weight and urgency, prompting the province to come up with the $4 million.
The programs will run according to demand. Some schools may offer morning, afternoon and evening programs, whereas others will only provide evening activities.
With a report from CTV's Janice Golding