In 2002, a group of North Bay parents of young adults with special needs began to lobby the provincial government for individualized funding to support their children as they transitioned from school to the community.  In February 2006, parents joined together to not only lobby for individualized funding but also for start-up funding for a Learning Centre.

With the active support of the Honourable Monique Smith, MPP-Nipissing this group of families met with the Honourable Madeleine Meilleur, Minister of Community and Social Services to express their concerns as to the need for community supports for their special needs children.  At the request of the Minister, a business plan was submitted for start-up funding of The PADDLE PROGRAM.  In March 2007, The PADDLE PROGRAM received full approval with start-up funds provided from the Ministry.  PADDLE opened its doors for full-day operation in September 2007 in renovated accommodations within Chippewa Secondary School.