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Leisure cards for children

Reykjavík City Council granted funds for so-called leisure cards yesterday, aimed at boosting children’s after-school activities.

The first sponsorships in form of leisure cards will be handed out to all children and youngsters in Reykjavík between the age of six and 18 next autumn, granting them a fund of ISK 12,000 (EUR 138, USD 178) each for leisure activities, as Morgunbladid reports.

The leisure cards were proposed by Reykjavík’s Sport and Leisure Board (ÍTR) and include activities such as sport, youth activities, art courses and all other leisure time programs that are supervised by authorized individuals.

Björn Ingi Hrafnsson, head of Reykjavík City Council, told Morgunbladid that funds will increase gradually and hopes that by 2009, every child in the city can be granted a leisure card worth ISK 40,000 (EUR 459, USD 592).

It is expected that the leisure cards will cost ISK 640 million in total (EUR 7 million, USD 9 million).

Hrafnsson believes investing in after-school programs is of great importance as they help preventing children and teenagers from taking part in “unhealthy activities.”

The City Councilor hopes that both genders will participate in leisure activities equally and that the cards will help children of foreign origin to integrate.

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