The Cowichan Lake Recreation Centre, along with J&V’s Burgers and Pizza and the Print Spot have partnered up with local RCMP to issue tickets to local youth. But this program delivers rewards, rather than disciplinary action.
Positive ticketing initially started in Richmond and is a program designed to reward local youth for making positive choices, such as participating in sports and other activities without drugs or alcohol, or overcoming adversity. But it is also designed to give recognition for small, but important actions, such as riding a bike with a helmet, or crossing the road safely.
Those caught exercising good judgement and demonstrating positive and concienscious behaviour, will receive a ticket that either entitles them to one free admission to skate, curl, or bowl from the recreation centre, or a slice of pizza and an upgrade from a regular ice cream cone to a medium waffle cone from J&V’s.
Hobday says that when she first contemplated implementing the idea she had to think about what could be offered to the kids that didn’t involve money. The idea of engaging local businesses meant that the businesses would have to be okay with taking a loss, but she says that neither the Cowichan Lake Recreation Centre, J&V’s, or the Print Spot, even batted an eye, and that all three were very positive about the idea.
John Cummings, the recreation programmer at CLRC says the facility felt it was important to be part of the program because the recreation centre is where kids go to stay out of trouble. “It gives kids on the fringe another option and might introduce them to a whole new world.”
He adds that when he moved to the area, the recreation centre is the first place he brought his boys, and it’s the first place where they began to make friends after their move.
On Thursday, Hobday gave a positive ticket worth one free skate, bowl, or drop-in curl to all of her Grade 6 DARE grads. However, there were 500 tickets printed, so there are still plenty of chances for local youth to demonstrate that they too can make positive choices.
Cummings says that the tickets for the recreation centre are valid during open program times, Mondays from 3:30 p.m.-5 p.m., and Fridays from 6:30 p.m.-8 p.m. Right now roller skating is the option for those that wish to skate, but the ice will be back on the floor of the arena by the second week in August.
Hobday hopes this program spurs incentive within the schools and that teachers will also take notice when a youth deserves some recognition and contact her. “I hope this gets kids doing things because they are the right things to do.”