Keeping kids in school using sports as the tool...Putting kids on the powerplay - For Life!
Inspiring and strengthening communities to provide children & youth with opportunities that promote education, health/wellness and life skills - through literacy and sports (such as soccer, hockey, and so on).
Through sports programs and Lit FitTM, PuCKS builds "sports-scholars" of youth who are:
- financially in-need
- recently re-settled in Canada
- To utilize a peer-assisted, mentorship model that connects children at risk to university students and elite athletic role models.
- To advance education by undertaking research in the field of sport health and safety.
- To utilize these research findings by applying "best practices" in the community.
To be selfless is not to think less of yourself. But, to think of yourself, less. - Warren, 2002.
The PuCKS Program offers people an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of others. People who support the program have an opportunity to reduce the disparity between the visibly and invisibly affluent and the impoverished: to blur the dividing-line. Promoting inter-generational, cooperative, empathetic, working relationships and friendships among all community members fosters an enhanced "sense of community".
Assets and Capacities
Each community member has "pennies" to offer. The PuCKS Program is committed to recognizing these pennies as strengths. All people, regardless of their circumstance - personal or situational - have gifts (strengths, assets and capacities) they can use to better themselves, others, and their environment. These differences are essential as each person has a part of what it takes to be wholly successful. Situational or personal deficits need not be highlighted or feared because whatever one member lacks, another member excels in. This interdependence among people is foundational to the PuCKS Program - People work together. People are equally valued for their contribution to the common goal of reducing marginalization of children and families.
"Give a penny. Take a penny. What's your penny?" - Klimek, 2005.
The process by which this goal is reached is as important as the goal itself. That is, the PuCKS Program is committed to community empowerment - and discourages the notion of entitlement. All participants, whether they are the children who are being supported in sports and/or education, or the adults who work together to make that happen, are enabled and encouraged to participate in areas of the program that are meaningful to them and where their gifts are best suited. This active involvement allows each participant to obtain the financial aid, equipment, and/or other resources they require to meet their personal needs - giving where they can and taking what they need.
"Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime" - Chinese Proverb.
Over the next decade (by 2015), evidence of the impact of this "upstream" approach to the health and well being of communities will become apparent. Research to assess this impact is a valued and integral part of the PuCKS Program. Some questions to be answered include:
- Where did these children begin?
- Where are these children now?
- What impact did participating in the PuCKS Program have on the children, families and community?
- How did participation in PuCKS affect the sense of community?
- What were the positive outcomes?
- What were the challenges?
- How might this program be implemented in other communities?
"I know not anything more pleasant, or more instructive, than to compare experience with expectation, or to register from time to time the difference between idea and reality. It is by this kind of observation that we grow daily less liable to be disappointed." -Johnson: 1709-1784.
Chinese proverb. The International Thesaurus of Quotations, ed. Rhoda Thomas Tripp, p. 76, no. 3 (1970).
Johnson, S. B. 1709 - 1784. Letter to Bennet Langton. Publisher unknown.
Klimek, C. M. (2005). Promoting Community through Kids in Sport Program (PuCKS Program). Unpublished manuscript. Kwantlen Polytechnic University, BSN Nursing Program, Surrey, British Columbia.
Warren, Rick. 2002. The Purpose Driven Life. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan.