FAQ – How our programs help the youth
1. What programs do you operate?
• a homework program
• A music program
• Performance and Visual arts program
• Dance program
• Sports program
• Computer program
• a 3 week kids summer camp
• And we provide snacks at the start of each program. During summer camp, we provide lunch as well.
2. What exactly do each of these programs do?
For the homework program, we help the children with their homework at a small teacher/student ratio depending on the volunteers available. They mostly get help in Math, Reading and writing and also in computer skills.
For dance and the arts, we provide materials and give the children instructions step by step in mastering the required skills. We keep it full of fun and it is driven by the interest of the kids.
For sports; soccer, basketball, street hockey, skipping rope etc., we provide equipment and teach motor skills to the children. There is time for practicing those skills in game situations.
The children love computer games; we try to channel that interest by providing some games that enhance their learning as well as sharpening their computer skills.
The 3 week summer camp has a full curriculum that includes Bible stories, worship songs, prayer, life skills, games, skits and sporting activities. We usually get teams of volunteers to run these whole day activities.
3. How do these programs advance the education of the children/youth who participate?
Most of the children we help come from low income, single parent families and are usually new immigrants. Most of them will have gaps in their education compared with their age mates born in Canada. That coupled with the fact that the parents who may be learning English themselves have no ability to help or even direct them appropriately. We therefore endeavor to bring them up to speed in Math, Reading and writing and in computer skills. With improved reading and writing in English they will find the rest of the subjects less challenging. It also improves their ability to communicate and acquire more knowledge easily as a consequence.
The arts and sports programs also help them to improve their skills in those subject areas as well as teaching them team work and discipline. The later can help them in school and in their future careers. Volunteers with special skills in those areas devote their time to work with each child no matter the level.
4. How many employees and volunteers does each of the programs have?
For homework and sports, there are 2 part time staff; the program coordinator and an assistant. We sometimes get placement students from York University teachers college and from Seneca college social workers program. The student number always varies between 10 and 15. Each one of them comes once a week and they are only available in the fall and winter semesters. We also do get volunteers from our church who give in some time whenever they can.
Volunteer teams from other churches usually help us run the kids summer camp. Each week may be run by a team of up to 7 young adults.
5. How are the children and youth who participate selected?
The program is open to all who want to come; we have children from different ethnic, cultural, religious and economic backgrounds. When the parents express a desire to have their child get extra help, they approach us, fill out an application; to provide information for our records and the child will start attending the program. The only exception is if we aren’t equipped to help a child; they may be hearing or visually impaired. We get lots of children with severe learning and behavioral problems but we still try our best to accommodate and help them in any way we can. We may turn away children only when we reach our limited capacity of 40 children. Even then, we put them on awaiting list.
6. Do you charge fees to participants and if so, how much?
The program is essentially free of charge. We charge a nominal registration fee of only $10.00 a month.