Calgary, AB,

Pilot project aimed at helping youth succeed enters second year

The Integrated School Support Project (ISSP) is celebrating its first anniversary and kicking off its second year of supporting families in two southeast elementary schools. The occasion is being marked with a large barbeque at Patrick Airlie and Holy Trinity schools where students, their families and the surrounding community can all help the agencies involved in ISSP celebrate.

ISSP is a prevention-based initiative that provides targeted services to support kids in achieving greater academic and social success. It provides children and their families with in-school supports, such as a positive police presence, on-site psychologists, physical education specialists, social workers, increased access to mobile health supports, mentoring, tutoring and meal programs.

The approach is based on a holistic perspective, which encompasses nutrition, fitness, academic success, emotional well-being and building a safe and strong community. It brought together many new and pre-existing programs to provide children and their family with a more coordinated approach to meeting their unique needs.

“We are now halfway through our two-year pilot of this integrated approach and so far we are very happy with the results we’ve seen,” says Gillian Bowerman, Manager of ISSP. “Obviously, the long-term effects of this project are not going to show until the kids we work with become adults, but many of the kids and families connected to the project are doing much better than they were a year ago. We hope to show that this approach is impactful so that we can maintain it in the community and expand to other areas that might benefit from a similar model.”

ISSP is being evaluated on an ongoing basis and will be thoroughly evaluated at the end of this school year to learn whether there is a measurable impact on the life of the students and families at those schools.

For more information on the program or the agencies and partners involved, please visit, or read the program overview.