SchoolsPlus: Giving Our Youth The Best Start Possible

There’s no doubt that students sometimes need extra support to cope with life’s challenges. And there’s also no doubt that the health and well-being of our children comes second to none.

That’s why our Liberal government has invested $11.8 million into making SchoolsPlus available to every school province-wide. We made a commitment to ensuring this would be completed by the 2019-20 school year.

And today we can say, we’ve done just that.

Through collaborations with community advocates and vital government services, SchoolsPlus connects students and their families to mental health services, mentoring, homework guidance, outreach, parenting supports and more. From 56 school hub sites, students can have access to these important services, when and if they need them.

Each hub site is supported by a facilitator and a community outreach worker, who act as liaisons between the school and community to provide supports to students in need.

Whether it’s managing academic stresses or coping with more severe challenges, SchoolsPlus will work to ensure the student’s needs are met with the right supports.

But we also know that family plays a critical role in a student’s outcome.

That’s why SchoolsPlus is part of our government’s Action Plan for Education, which includes a focus on increasing family and youth engagement. By providing parenting support through classes and social groups, and promoting schools’ facilities like family resource centres and Early Years centres, parents and guardians can strengthen the fundamental support they already provide in their child’s life.

Optimal nutrition and recreational activities can also go a long way toward reducing stress levels and easing feelings of anxiety or depression. Because of that, other programs accessible through SchoolsPlus include community gardens, nutritional classes, breakfast programs, youth groups, and recreational programming – each there to give our children a balanced foundation for happier, healthier lives.

We’ve increased our education spend $1.43 billion this year- up 30 per cent since we formed government in 2013- and we’ll continue to invest in the well-being of our children to ensure a brighter, more prosperous Nova Scotia for all.