More Good News for Calgary Crime Prevention

A few short weeks after a series of initiatives aimed at reducing crime rates amongst Calgary's at-risk kids was announced, there's more good news for youngsters in the Forest Lawn neighborhood: thanks to funding from the non-profit Calgary Police Foundation, a pilot program will equip schools with full-time physical education courses, staff psychologists, after-school programs, and other initiatives aimed at reaching children who lack the support often necessary to prevent criminality.

The program is currently planned for a two-year run at Patrick Airlie School and Holy Trinity School; if it proves successful, it is projected to remain in place and expand to other schools. It will also serve as a useful model for the development of similar programs throughout Alberta and the nation.

A psychologist at each school will be available to provide no-cost counseling to children and families experiencing turmoil, and social workers will also be made more readily available and accessible for additional support. Regular, friendly interactions with police are also planned to reduce the perceived divide between law enforcement and the residents of Forest Lawn.

“This is a community where a great many of our parents in the school community are working and still just barely getting by, one where the kids aren't necessarily taken care of in a way that we would like to see them after school, said Sandy Solyom, principal of Holy Trinity School. They are left to their own devices and in that sense there's a potential for straying off. This whole program is designed to keep the kids focused on being successful and having a better shot at a successful life.”