HIGH FIVE® National

Organization Sponsor: Parks and Recreation Ontario (PRO)

Organization Partner: Canadian Parks and Recreation Association (CPRA)


Program Description

HIGH FIVE® is Canada’s only quality standard for organizations providing sport and recreation programs for children aged 6 to 12.

Parks and Recreation Ontario (PRO) founded HIGH FIVE® in 2001 after years of research. The resulting training is now being implemented across the country. Research identified five principles of healthy child development that are essential for quality programs: A Caring Adult, Friends, Play, Mastery and Participation. HIGH FIVE® is built on the belief that all children deserve to have physical activity experiences that support healthy child development.

Research shows that experiences children have in recreation and sport at an early age carry a life-long impact. Positive experiences help children become capable, caring adults who contribute more effectively to the community in the future.

Funding Sources: 

Parks and Recreation Ontario, Trillion Foundation

Strategies For Sustainability: 

HIGH FIVE® can measure and support the development and maintenance of quality improvements in program service and delivery. Reports generated through the HIGH FIVE® database will highlight strengths and weaknesses around leadership, policies and programs which will translate into improved operational effectiveness, increased enrollment, more opportunities for revenue generation, stronger staff engagement and access to funding opportunities.

Impact Of Program: 

• Licensed in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Nunavut, Manitoba, Ontario, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador through Recreation Associations BCRPA, ARPA, SPRA, PRO, RNB, RNS, PEIRA, and RNL (Authorized Providers)
• More than half a million children in communities across Canada are benefiting from participating in programs guided by HIGH FIVE®
• More than 200 organizations involved as Registered and Accredited Organizations including Municipalities, Boys and Girls Clubs, YMCA's, YWCA's, Colleges and Sport Organizations
• More than 50,000 front line recreation and sport leaders, coaches, and instructors have been trained in the Principles of Healthy Child Development
• More than 6,500 supervisors and managers have been trained in QUEST program assessment and policy measurement
• More than 800 Trainers have been certified across Canada to deliver HIGH FIVE® training to recreation and sport leaders, coaches and instructors

Evaluation Tools: 

The HIGH FIVE® Quality Experience Scanning Tools (QUEST 1 and QUEST 2) were developed by PRO to supply service providers with some practical, well balanced and scientifically validated tolls for assessing and improving experiences in recreation and sport activities. QUEST 1 is a self-administered survey that identifies organizational strengths and weaknesses in policies, procedures and systems in terms of healthy child development. QUEST 2 is an observational tool to measure program effectiveness in terms of healthy child development.

Key Elements Towards Success: 

HIGH FIVE® trains front-line leaders (anyone working with children aged 6 to 12 – ie: camp counselor, coach, swim instructor) in the Principles of Healthy Child Development so they understand what they need to do to ensure each child’s emotional needs are met.
HIGH FIVE® trains supervisors on how to measure quality within their programs. They can also enter data into the database to get a score which helps them track their progress as well as areas of need.
HIGH FIVE® trains managers on how to measure the quality of their policies and procedures and how to develop those if they have none. They can also enter their data into our database to get a score which helps them track their progress as well as areas of need.

Challenges To Meet Them: 

Growth, expansion and updating of HIGH FIVE® products, knowledge and future.

Length and Stage of Project: 

HIGH FIVE® was conceived in 1994 by Parks and Recreation Ontario and launched in November 2001. It is now available from coast to coast in French and English.

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