Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada

Mission: To provide a safe, supportive place where children and youth can go to experience new opportunities, overcome barriers, build positive relationships and develop confidence and skills for life. At 95 Clubs and 650 service locations in every province in Canada, Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada is a leading provider of after school and critical hours programs, recognized for significantly contributing to the healthy development of young people - especially those who need Clubs most.
Apr 16, 2015

New Beginnings in Central Saanich

Angi Eddy, Central Saanich, BC
Angi Eddy, Central Saanich, BC

Angi Eddy can’t say enough about the impact of Rogers Raising the Grade in her community.

“I have been able to help a teen who dropped out of high school get back into classes,” explains the education supervisor of the Boys & Girls Club Services of Greater Victoria.

“I watched a young mother defy all the expectations she had for herself and apply to college. A youth who failed all her classes last year because of substance misuse recently showed me a report card that is honour roll worthy. And the program has been running for less than 6 months!”

Angi works at the brand new Central Saanich Club facility, which serves a large population of youth from the Tsartlip, Pauquachin, Tseycum and Tsawout First Nations. The community identified a need for the kind of academic support and mentoring that Rogers Raising the Grade (RRTG) offers young people.

Realizing the new facility wouldn’t be completed until January, Angi took the initiative to start running RRTG sessions at a local coffee shop, bringing laptops and tablets and meeting with youth a few times a week.

“It’s amazing to see the kids discover education and career opportunities they had never considered or even thought possible,” says Angi. “Often the youth haven’t been told that they can succeed in school and it’s a privilege to support and celebrate them.”

With the grand opening of the Club’s Rogers Raising the Grade Tech Centre, young people now have a dedicated space where they can go after school. They’re getting help with their homework and connecting with mentors and other youth as they increase their digital literacy and make plans for their post-secondary future.

Angi is amazed by how quickly a community of youth has developed around the program.

“It’s inspiring to see kids with different backgrounds having organic, youth-led conversations about issues that matter to them. We are seeing stellar role modeling and relationships develop between the older and younger participants.”

The Tech Centre is now regularly filled to capacity and Angi believes this is due in part to making educational technology available to youth who don’t have easy access to computers or the Internet.

“Rogers Raising the Grade is such an opportunity,” she says. “Every day,we are seeing an increase in interest and in motivation. It’s a huge boost for

Apr 3, 2015

You Can Plan On It!

Shanel - Boys and Girls Club of East Scarborough
Shanel - Boys and Girls Club of East Scarborough
Shanel credits the Boys and Girls Club youth councils with her decision to study special event planning at George Brown College.

“The Ontario Youth Council is where I discovered that I loved planning,” says the 19-year-old member of Boys and Girls Club of East Scarborough and first-year college student. “It’s my passion!”

Shanel is a National Youth Council member and part of the committee planning the Council’s biennial forum, which is open to Boys and Girls Club youth from across Canada and is being held from May 6th to 10th in Winnipeg. 

Inspired by the diversity of youth in Clubs across the country, the National Youth Council is calling this forum Fusion. The goal is for young people to explore and develop an understanding of the different cultures that make up Canada’s colourful, vibrant mosaic. The planners chose the keynote speaker—comedian, actor and writer Sabrina Jalees—for her underlying message about celebrating difference.

Shanel is excited to be facilitating a large workshop in Winnipeg that celebrates the vibrancy and variety of cultures in Canada. “What I like about being on the planning committee is seeing young people work together to make the conference a success.”  

Shanel participates in monthly teleconferences to brainstorm the forum agenda and workshop topics, which cover a range of youth issues, from nutrition and health to sexual identity. She also attended OASIS, the 2013 national youth forum held in Kamloops, British Columbia.  

As with this year’s forum, youth are able to travel from Clubs across Canada thanks to WestJet, who makes a direct impact on the experiences of young people with its Gift of Flight airline tickets.  WestJet has donated over 3,000 flights to Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada and our member Clubs since 2007.

“The fact that we get to fly for free is amazing,” says Shanel, “because otherwise, I wouldn’t have been able to attend.” 

Facilitating and planning large events like the biennial forum have only added fuel to Shanel’s planning fire.

“Planning is all about bringing people together,” she says. “The workshops and activities give you an opportunity to hang out with people that you might not ordinarily meet or who might not run in the same social circles as you.” 

This encapsulates the experience for Shanel, who says the best part of the forum is meeting the other delegates. 

“The goal,” she says, “is to have youth from across the country engage with each other, then return to their respective cities and make a positive impact in their communities and their Clubs.

“The young people are brilliant, strong-minded, and positive. It really feels like a meeting of world leaders!”
Jan 29, 2015

Progress Update - January 2015

BGCC believes that STE(A)M skills are important for all students, not just those aspiring to a career in the sciences.

Being STE(A)M-capable strengthens one's ability to succeed in an innovation-based economy as well as society in general. Acquiring these skills is critical for all young people to ultimately affect change in their own lives and their communities, and pave the way toward a successful future.

The overall goal of STE(A)M Ahead! is to help provide our young people with the resources to introduce, enhance, and expand their skills in the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering, Art/Design and Math.

Having researched, sourced and procured engineering design kits and video game development software licenses and training, BGCC moved ahead with the application process for STEA(M) Ahead!

A call for applications was opened for all Boys and Girls Clubs to apply to be part of the STE(A)M Ahead pilot in August, 2014. Application deadline was September 12th, at which point BGCC internally ranked and vetted the applications against the program goals and deliverables.

4 Boys and Girls Clubs were selected to be a part of the STE(A)M Ahead! pilot program:

  • South Coast, BC
  • Calgary, AB (up to 2 sites)
  • Brantford, ON (up to 3 sites)
  • East Dartmouth, NS (up to 3 sites)

A full-day training was held in Toronto for 2 staff from each of the 4 sites. Club staff were trained to use and deliver both the engineering build kits and the video game design software with the youth in their Clubs.

We also begun the process of designing the pilot evaluation with the help of a consultant. Staff have now returned to their Clubs and are preparing to deliver the program. We anticipate approximately 350 youth, ages 6-18, through the program by April 30th.

Thank you for your support of STE(A)M Ahead! We look forward to sharing more progress reports in the coming months.

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