Brock High School’s New Youth Hub Hopes to Provide Something for All Students

Posted On Wednesday September 04, 2019
One of the three classrooms before it was transformed into a brand-new Youth Hub for students at Brock High School.

Brock HS is set to open its new Community Youth Hub to students the week of September 2nd

“We wanted to provide our kids with the opportunity to get help, engage with staff and other students, and basically ‘hang out’ in a safe, supervised place after school,” says James Klodnicki, Principal at Brock High School in Cannington.

So, the Brock HS administration teamed up with a multitude of community partners to create a collaborative and equitable space where students can unwind, do homework, or seek guidance from the community partners.

The Durham District School Board (DDSB) Capital Projects department was tasked with taking three existing classrooms and creating a bright, colourful, and accessible space for students.

Amenities include:

  • Laptop bar where students can plug in their computers and access WiFi
  • Countertop and prep station with a sink and cupboards
  • Microwave
  • Washer and dryer
  • Television so kids can view announcements from the school and board, play games, surf the Internet, etc.
  • Two office spaces for community partners
  • A meeting room for Brock High School student leadership groups (e.g. Student Council, Sexuality and Gender Alliance [SAGA]/LGBTQ Group, Indigenous Students Group, Equity Group)
  • Sliding partition wall (with whiteboard) that allows the far end of the Hub to convert into a classroom

Mike Kennedy, Capital Projects Supervisor at the DDSB says, “During the day, the partition wall will be in use as there are scheduled classes, but at the end of every day the wall will recede and the entire Hub will be accessible.”

Probably the most important amenity the Hub will offer is food. Nourish and Develop Foundation (a community partner) will be partnering with the Brock High School Culinary Arts students to prepare and provide healthy snacks for the Hub.

Generally, students can access the Hub during their lunch or after school, although community partners and the DDSB social worker and psychometrist can be available to students throughout the day.

The plan is for partners to rotate shifts from morning (9 a.m.) to evening (6 p.m.). They will run programs/activities, supervise drop-in opportunities, and assist students in any way they can.

Community partners include: Brock Community Health Centre, Building Youth Capacity (formerly Brock Youth Centre), Pinewood Centre at Lakeridge Health, Durham Region Police Services (DRPS), Durham College, Durham Region Health, Big Brothers Big Sisters of North Durham, and Nourish and Develop Foundation.

What About Transportation?

Klodnicki says from the start of the school day to the end, students typically didn’t have much time to socialize, “Besides 15 minutes before their first class, and 40 minutes at lunch, kids have to leave the school within minutes to catch their bus at the end of the day.”

He adds that 100 per cent of the students at the school are bused in from the surrounding areas (Cannington, Beaverton, Sunderland, and Brock Township). “Most kids don’t drive, nor do they have someone to pick them up. This is where we wanted to provide equity of access for all of our students.”

Brock High School partnered with Stock Transportation to run Hub Shuttle buses to and from the school after hours. The Hub Shuttle will pick students up at the school at 4:30 p.m., 5:15 p.m., and 6 p.m. to take them to a general location in their home area.

Coming This Fall…

Students will be able to access the Hub starting the week of September 2nd, but the grand opening won’t be until later this Fall. Klodnicki notes, “We are planning to host an official grand opening once all the furniture has arrived and the final touches have been made. It will most likely be around mid-to-late October.”