Canadian Tire Jumpstart Charities awards S.M.I.L.E program with $500,000 grant

May 28, 2019

In celebration of National AccessAbility Week, Canadian Tire Jumpstart Charities is proud to announce the S.M.I.L.E (Sensory Motor Instructional Leadership Experience) Program as a 2019 Jumpstart Accessibility Grant recipient. A national charity, Jumpstart helps kids overcome financial and accessibility barriers to sport and recreation in an effort to provide inclusive play for kids of all abilities.

S.M.I.L.E is an innovative, volunteer-driven adapted physical activity program delivered to children, youth, and adults with developmental, cognitive, physical, and/or sensory disabilities. The goal of S.M.I.L.E is to improve participants’ total development and promote lifelong physical activity participation through physical literacy.

“Being able to enhance accessibility to the S.M.I.L.E. program at Acadia University will make a meaningful and lasting impact on our participants, student volunteers, and the surrounding community,” said Dr. Roxanne Seaman, Director, S.M.I.L.E. Program. “The Accessibility Grant from Canadian Tire Jumpstart Charities is an investment in inclusion. We are incredibly grateful for that support

The program will receive $500,000 over two years to enhance their program quality and capacity through the expansion of their Snoezelen Room: a multi-sensory environment that helps reduce agitation and anxiety and engage users by stimulating reactions and communication. The funds will also support the installation of an accessible washroom, elevator, and wheelchair ramps.

The proposed infrastructure innovation enhancements will serve kids of all abilities, especially those with cognitive and developmental disabilities. A program that is free for all users, it attracts participants from across the province of Nova Scotia.

“We are pleased to award the S.M.I.L.E program with a Jumpstart Accessibility Grant,” said Scott Fraser, President, Canadian Tire Jumpstart Charities. “Like Jumpstart, S.M.I.L.E is committed to removing the financial and accessibility barriers to physical activity, and we are proud that together, we can help more kids in Nova Scotia experience the benefits of this unique program.”

Jumpstart Accessibility Grants support capital costs of construction and renovations to improve physical accessibility to, and inclusivity in, recreation facilities. Eligible organizations include municipalities and public recreation centres and facilities, schools and community organizations with publically accessible facilities, and public recreation spaces owned and operated by private foundations.

Being able to enhance accessibility to the S.M.I.L.E. program at Acadia University will make a meaningful and lasting impact on our participants, student volunteers, and the surrounding community ”

About Canadian Tire Jumpstart Charities

Canadian Tire Jumpstart Charities is a national charity dedicated to helping kids overcome financial and accessibility barriers to sport and recreation in an effort to provide inclusive play for kids of all abilities. With an extensive, national network of more than 1,000 grantees and 289 local chapters, Jumpstart helps eligible families cover the costs of registration, transportation, and equipment, and provides funding to selected organizations for recreational infrastructure and programming. Supported by the Government of Canada through Sport Canada and the Canadian Tire Family of Companies, Jumpstart has provided more than two million opportunities for Canadian kids to get in the game since 2005. For more information, visit jumpstart.canadiantire.ca.

Follow Jumpstart on Twitter and Facebook to learn about how the charity is giving kids across Canada a sporting chance.

About Acadia University and S.M.I.L.E.

The Sensory Motor Instructional Leadership Experience Program (S.M.I.L.E.) at Acadia University in Wolfville, Nova Scotia, is an academic-based program that uses various physical activity settings to help those with varying disabilities develop motor, social, and cognitive skills. At the same time, student-volunteers are given unprecedented opportunities to forge friendships, serve as mentors, and leaders. Acadia University provides a personalized approach to education, and it encourages broad learning, inclusiveness, and community service. S.M.I.L.E. is a true example of an Acadia education in action. The program has become a part of the University and, by extension, the local community’s culture. Learn more at smile.acadiau.ca.

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