Young people in the Annapolis Valley are getting active through After the Bell programs in West Hants, Wolfville, New Minas, Canning, Berwick and Kentville. Today, Jan. 28, Health and Wellness Minister Leo Glavine visited a yoga program in Wolfville to announce more than $22,000 of continued funding for after-school activities in those six communities. The program provides funding for after-school activities such as yoga, snowshoeing, rock climbing and Zumba in rural communities across the province where busing and transportation can be a challenge. “I’ve had lots of fun and learned many new skills for surviving and having fun outdoors in the Berwick Bio-Venturers program,” said Allyson Gibson, a Grade 7 participant from Berwick. “From tracking animals to making nature crafts, every day is different and interesting. My confidence in the outdoors has really improved.” After the Bell aims to increase physical activity in 12-to-15- year-olds, the years of greatest decline in physical activity. The priority is to involve girls. Research shows just 21 per cent of girls meet the standard of 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity daily. Last year, 79 per cent of the 1,958 After the Bell participants were girls. “It’s important to help young people make physical activity a part of their daily routine,” said Mr. Glavine. “The After the Bell program gives students a chance to participate in activities close to home.” Groups that receive After the Bell funding can decide which activities they would like to run based on the needs of their community. Last year, about 250 students in these communities took part. Government is investing $282,000 in After the Bell projects in 67 communities across the province. A list of grants announced today in the Annapolis Valley follows this release.