Initial planning for the Kateslem After School Program began in the spring of 1998 when Banting Middle School’s Parent Advisory Council partnered with the Fraser North Council for Children and Youth to examine the issue of after school care for Grade 6 and 7 students. A public forum was held in which the following two major issues were identified: a lack of after school programs for this age group and difficulty being experienced in a community with high numbers of at-risk youth involved in criminal activities and gang membership.
Following the forum, the school administration, Parent Advisory Council, and Fraser North Council prepared an application for a pilot program focused on the development of resiliency skills for students at risk. The National Crime Prevention Centre approved it and the program began in January 2000 as a not-for –profit organization functioning out of Banting Middle School.
With the following as its mission Kateslem began to gain ground; “To improve the lives of our troubled youth by providing a safe, caring and consistent environment that fosters positive development and promotes healthy behaviors. In 2008 Kateslem expanded into Como Lake Middle School and in 2010 it became a registered BC society, the Kateslem Youth Society, and a Canada Revenue registered charity.
The Kateslem Youth Society is constantly changing and growing just like the youth that it supports and encourages.
Kateslem is a First Nation word, meaning “coming together.”
Kateslem is a “not for profit” organization that offers after school activities to youth between the ages of 11 to 14 who would otherwise be unoccupied. Students registered with Kateslem are provided a safe and caring atmosphere, offering academic, emotional and social support.