Event shines light on early childhood vulnerability project in Surrey

United Way initiative aims to ensure more kids in a Guildford area start school ready to succeed

On Oct. 16

GUILDFORD — Research suggests one in three kids in B.C. starts kindergarten with odds stacked against their success. In one Guildford neighbourhood, the number is nearly one in two.

Guildford-West – from roughly 100th to 117th avenues and from about 142nd to 155th streets – has been identified by United Way as an area that struggles with child poverty.

Through a five-year project, Avenues of Change, United Way aims to change these odds and ensure more kids in the area start school ready to succeed.

“There really was a sense of chronic vulnerability,” said Jeff Calbick of United Way. “Guildford-West had about 43 per cent vulnerability and they’ve been stuck at that level for several years.

“The question was, ‘What can we collectively do to change that projector for kids in that neighbourhood?’”

On Friday (Oct. 16), United Way is holding an event to share action strategies that will be implemented to change outcomes for vulnerable children.

Calbick hopes the model can be used in other neighbourhoods.

“We thought we could try to figure out what key solutions and interventions could improve that level of vulnerability for children, and then we could extend this to other areas in Surrey and the region,” he said.

The event will be held at the Guildford Recreation Centre, 15105 105th Ave., at 11 a.m.

amy.reid@thenownewspaper.com

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