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Take A Hike program focuses on vulnerable teens within Sooke School District

Alternative education initiative to run on West Shore and Sooke
Students hear about and discuss the Take A Hike program. (Photo courtesy of Take A Hike)

Sooke School District has partnered with the Take a Hike Foundation to provide outdoor mental health programming to several municipalities on the West Shore.

As a partner with several school districts, Take a Hike provides vulnerable high school students with individualized education plans, in-classroom counsellor support and a weekly day of outdoor learning, among other alternatives to traditional education.

According to an April 13 press release, the foundation’s new location at the Westshore Centre for Learning’s Colwood campus will provide programming in Colwood, Langford, Highlands, Metchosin, Sooke and Port Renfrew.

“We’re excited to partner with Take a Hike Foundation due to the impact this outdoor experiential program can have in providing leadership opportunities and clinical support for at-promise students in our communities,” said Jim Lamond, principal of pathways and choice at the Sooke School District.

“Data analysis shows that Take a Hike has had a tremendous impact for many youths in communities throughout our province.”

He said the foundation would do well from the Sooke Districts’ access to recreational trails and the ocean. Take A Hike programs also run in Nanaimo, the Cowichan Valley, Saanich, and the B.C. mainland.

“It is difficult to do well at school or work and have strong bonds with our friends and family when struggling with our mental health or substance use challenges,” said Take a Hike CEO Gordon Matchett. “Take a Hike understands this and is elated to partner with the Sooke School District to provide our life-changing program to youth on Vancouver Island who could benefit the most.”

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About the Author: Greater Victoria News Staff

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