Take a Hike Comes to Burnaby School District


Original Publication by Burnaby NewsLeader

At-risk youth might be tempted to tell their teachers to take a hike.

But now those kids in Burnaby will be able to get their academic careers in order by taking a hike themselves. Or paddling a kayak. Or snowshoeing a mountain trail.

The Take a Hike Youth at Risk Foundation is partnering with School District 41 to bring its program to grade 10-12 students beginning in September.

The program introduces students in the district's alternate learning program to various outdoor activities, teaching them valuable skills in communication, problem-solving and teamwork.

Take a Hike also provides a full-time therapist to work with the students' teacher, youth engagement worker and a new adventure-based learning specialist. The program hopes to enrol 20 kids for the next school year.

"Take a Hike provides a unique opportunity for students in Burnaby who may be struggling in a mainstream classroom setting," said school board trustee Harman Pander.

Since its inception in 2000, Take a Hike has helped more than 350 young people, mostly in Vancouver and the West Kootenays.

The program relies on donations from individuals, corporations and foundations to cover the cost of outdoor expeditions, adventure-based learning components and the full-time therapist.

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