DEEP LEARNING: St. Mother Teresa CES presents case for local youth centre to city council

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By Jennifer O’Meara, Clarington This Week

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As part of a deep learning project, a group of senior students at St. Mother Teresa Catholic Elementary School have taken it upon themselves to promote a local youth centre in Courtice.

The John Howard Society launched The Loft in September 2018 after Clarington council set aside $57,700 to fund the initiative in the 2018 budget.

Liam Greentree, Grade 7, said that the students in his class, led by teacher Shannon Huard, chose the project because they are very invested in The Loft and want it to stay open longer than the six months currently funded.

At the Monday, Jan. 21, 2019 city council meeting, St. Mother Teresa student Tyler McMaster told councillors the youth centre is needed in Courtice. He said the centre offers a warm, welcoming spot for youth to enjoy any interest, from sports to video games to just hanging out.

“There aren’t very many places like The Loft,” said McMaster, as reported in Clarington This Week. “When you go to The Loft you don’t feel like you have to leave because you’re loud and having fun. That’s what The Loft is meant for. You feel like you can hang out and be yourself.”

The six-month pilot period for The Loft ends March 2. The John Howard Society budget for 2019 includes a funding request from the end of the pilot period to year end for the Courtice youth centre.

“The school has really adopted trying to make changes within our community, and one of them that just came up was The Loft. So we really dove in to support The Loft,” said Ian Kruis, principal of St. Mother Teresa CES.

Clarington council will decide whether to continue funding The Loft, during the 2019 budget debate.