Frequently Asked Questions

We would love to have a program for boys; however, the space that we were so graciously offered by St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church was suited for girls, not boys. We were advised that boys would need a gym, a big playground and some costly sports equipment. We did not have access to that kind of environment nor the budget to buy the gear.
Alarmed by the vital statistics report that emerged in 2010, pointing at Prince Edward County as having some of the poorest scores in Ontario in terms of food insecurity, teen pregnancy, drug and alcohol abuse, obesity and illiteracy, Lynne Donovan, the Pastor of St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, formed a team to look at the problem. Their solution was Reaching for Rainbows.
It is what it is. For many people, we appear to be running an after-school crafts program for little girls. Although it would be kind to support such a program, would it be crucial? The only way we can call upon people to donate to our cause is by educating them about what our girls are up against. We have the backing of their parents in using this word.
There is a big difference between saying our girls are vulnerable and explaining why. Their privacy needs to be respected. We hope you will trust us on this one.
Research demonstrates that the earlier you can make an impact on a vulnerable child, the more likely she is to succeed. We don’t have the facilities or the personnel to work with really young children. (Think diapers and pants wetting). Six is a good fit for our playroom and our people. Once the girls reach age nine, their interests change dramatically. To match their interests, we would need a whole new environment, more staff and volunteers and an enormous budget. None of those things seem to be lurking on the horizon at the moment.
Unfortunately, we don’t, because we can’t. Once again, it’s a matter of budget and personnel. We just don’t have enough of either of them to spread around more than they are already being spread. If there’s anyone out there willing to take on this project, we would welcome them with open arms.
One thing we do is to steer our girls over to The Roc. They have some excellent activities for girls in grades five to eight.
The children’s programs in the County, of which we are aware, do amazing work. The difference between us and them is in the intensity of the programming. Where other groups offer one-off activities and short-term projects in which children hop in and out as they wish, the girls at Reaching for Rainbows attend regularly every week throughout most of the year. Most of the girls stay with us for four years.
The doors of other children’s programs are open to all comers. The girls of Reaching for Rainbows, on the other hand, are recommended to the program. Participation is dependent on their vulnerability.
Reaching for Rainbows is also very little about the actual activities we offer and very much about changing the world for our girls. By providing a regular, consistent agenda, we dig deep into the roots of vulnerability. With the generosity of this community on our side and the diligence of our team on the floor, we will hopefully yank them out.