The CYN began in 2007, with about 50 members and a vision to create a brighter future for our children.
In September of 2008, the network committed to a set of priorities, goals and strategies to achieve the best for our children, youth and families, setting out an ambitious plan agenda for our work up to 2015. In this Child and Youth Agenda, we identified four priority areas, which we believe are the key to happiness and health among children, youth and families: Ending Poverty, Making Literacy a Way of Life, Leading the Nation in Health Eating & Healthy Physical Activity, and Creating a Family-Centred Service System.
The Child and Youth Agenda continues to guide our work today, and has resulted in significant progress toward our goals. In only five years, the CYN has grown to include over 170 member organizations, As a result of our growing community support, we have been able to build a network of committed organizations and a portfolio of successful initiatives focused on strengthening the lives of our children, youth and families.
The CYN has raised awareness about the four priority areas through a comprehensive web presence that includes: thisisliteracy.ca, Middlesex-London in motion® and therealissue.ca. The CYN has also developed numerous programs in each of the four strategic priority areas, including: the Basic Needs Beacon to identify sustainable solutions to meet basic needs, Baby’s Book Bag to promote literacy right from birth, the Grade 7 Wraparound Project to support transition and build valuable life skills, and Activity Calendars and Menu Makers to promote healthy eating and physical activity.
The CYN’s efforts and success in building community involvement around our priority areas has led to local and provincial recognition. In 2011, the Westminster Working Group was awarded a Pillar Innovation Award for their efforts at creating a healthier, more active neighbourhood. In the same year, the CYN was recognized by the Ministry of Children and Youth Services as a leader in community integration.