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Mar 9, 2017

Homework help programs - an update

Homework help program
Homework help program

It is so hard to believe that the school year is more than halfway done and many students are looking forward to the upcoming March Break.  Since the beginning of the school year, Boys and Girls Clubs across Canada have been busy supporting children and youth with homework help programs to ensure that they have a successful academic year.  One of the pillars of our after school programs is to offer educational support to children and youth nationally so that we equip them with all the tools and resources that they need to succeed in school.  Clubs hire qualified staff members and/or work with skilled volunteers to offer homework help for children and youth. 

Boys and Girls Clubs in Canada cater to the local needs of the communities they serve.  As an extension, the Homework help programs that are offered vary across the country.  One of the most important national homework help program we offer is the Power Up! program.  Through a combination of group work and one-on-one support, participants are able to access the support they need to enhance their academic potential.  Kids, parents and staff continue to provide overwhelmingly positive feedback on the Power Up! program, noting that it has been a key element in children’s academic success.

Thank you for your continued support.  You play an important role in enabling us to support Clubs in offering homework help programs to children and youth across Canada. 

Mar 3, 2017

Hezzy Gets in the Game

Hezzy Gets in the Game
Hezzy Gets in the Game

Thank you for your continued support!  Boys and Girls Clubs across the country are very busy running programs and services for children and youth in Canada.  A great example of a program that we offer is the Canadian Tire Jumpstart Get in the Game program.  Please read about the program offered at the Kiwanis Boys and Girls Club in Hamilton, Ontario.

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Hezzy Gets in the Game

Getting a sporting chance with Canadian Tire Jumpstart 

When 7-year-old Hezzy watched his older brother play drop-in basketball at the Kiwanis Boys and Girls Club in Hamilton, he knew this was the sport he wanted to play.

“I used to arrive at the Club before it opened, so eager to start playing,” says Hezzy, remembering his first game 7 years ago. “Waiting for the staff to unlock the doors, I used to pass the time dribbling outside.”

It didn’t take long for the Hamilton Club to recognize that Hezzy had a gift that would open doors for him.  By age 11, Hezzy’s team had won 3 championships and he had been named Most Valuable Player by the Hamilton Basketball Association. 

“When I was scouted by the Hamilton Wildcats Basketball Academy, I was really excited because I knew that competitive basketball is a big deal and you have to be at a high level to play in the Ontario Division.  I was so grateful when they told me I made the team.”

Now at the age of 14, Hezzy has recently made the Under 15 team at CIA Bounce. His U15 team competes against top high school teams in the United States and he has already played games in New York and Pennsylvania. 

“I like exploring new cities and being on the road with the team,” he says.  “But I’m proudest of scoring 8 points in 30 seconds to help win the championship game by 3 points.”

The 14-year-old rising star credits Canadian Tire Jumpstart Get in the Game for eliminating the financial barriers to competing at this level.  Get in the Game provides funds and equipment to Boys and Girls Clubs so that members can enjoy the benefits of organized sports and physical activities, even when family budgets can’t stretch enough to cover these costs.

Canadian Tire Jumpstart Get in the Game is currently offered at 13 Boys and Girls Clubs across the country and has helped more than 5,000 children and youth get in the game.

Looking to the future beyond high school, Hezzy hopes to play college basketball in the United States. “Just being able to play at such a high level would really pay off,” he says, and it doesn’t matter which college team he might play for.  Glenn Harkness, Executive Director of Kiwanis Boys and Girls Club in Hamilton says he believes Hezzy is on his way to the NBA one day, like Boys and Girls Club alumni Anthony Bennett—the first Canadian to become a #1 NBA draft pick.

“If I didn’t go to the drop-in program at my Club, I wouldn’t be where I am now,” Hezzy adds, as he heads back to the basketball court for practice. “Everybody was always so nice and the coaches were great. I have to thank all of them for helping me along the way and lending their support.”

Dec 12, 2016

Raising the Grade Success story

Israel
Israel

Thank you so much for your continued support.  Your generous donation  enables us to provide homework support to children and youth across Canada. 

We’re pleased to share Israel’s story with you.  Israel is a member of the Raising the Grade program, aimed at increasing academic skills, high school graduation rates and access to post-secondary education for at-risk youth from a select group of Boys and Girls Clubs across the country.

Israel's dreams become reality

Israel Mohammed saw her mother and thought she was dreaming.

Israel and her brother immigrated from Ethiopia to St. John’s, NL, in 2012 when she was just 14 years old. Their mother was already living in Canada and Israel had not seen her in seven years.

“When I first saw her I couldn’t believe it. I thought, ‘Is that my mom?’” says Israel. “Even after living here for more than a year I would wake up thinking I was dreaming. I couldn’t believe I was with my mom.”

However, Israel’s new life wasn’t an easy one.

“I didn’t speak English before I came here so it was difficult to communicate with people,” she remembers. “I was very friendly back home—I knew everyone and was such a chatterbox, but after I came here I was very quiet because I didn’t know what to say or how to say it.”

One of Israel’s ESL instructors recommended the Raising the Grade™ program at Boys and Girls Clubs of St. John’s. Offered by Rogers

Communications, the after-school program allows youth to explore their interests, connect with mentors and tutors, increase their digital literacy, and plan for post-secondary education.

“It was wonderful—there are no words to explain it,” she says excitedly. “I would go three or four days a week to work on my school assignments and there was always someone there to help me with my language.”

It didn’t take long for Israel to blossom. She became a top student, more self-assured and more social with her Boys and Girls Club friends.

Her success allowed her to step into a facilitator role for the Raising the Grade™: Youth Stories Research Project, a peer-based initiative that explores and assesses the impact the Raising the Grade™ program has on its participants.

“We did research about how the program helped students,” she says.

“Then we had to present that information to our community and share our stories. I used to be kind of shy about my words, but being part of the Raising the Grade™ program helped so much. I can speak about the Stories Project in front of people and have more confidence.”

Now 18 years old and studying at Memorial University, Israel plans on pursuing a career in the medical field and staying in St. John’s.

“It is home now. Everyone is helpful and great, and I love it here.”

However, her greatest wish is to share the Raising the Grade™ program with kids who could benefit from it the most.

“In the future, I hope I can open a similar program, especially for girls who have limited access to education.”

“I don’t think I would be here today without the program.”

 
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