Project #9793

Boys & Girls Clubs of Canada - Homework Help

by Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada

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.”

Raising the Grade participants
Raising the Grade participants

Thank you for your generous support of Boys and Girls Clubs’ Homework Help programs. 

Children and youth across Canada made their way back to school this week.  To help children succeed in school, most Boys and Girls Clubs offer homework help in the after school timeframe.  A great example is the Raising the Grade (RTG) program. 

Raising The Grade supports at-risk youth 12 to 18 to explore, set, and achieve their academic and career goals by offering academic support, post-secondary and career discovery, and opportunities to use technology and quality online resources in RTG Tech Centres. Through hands-on learning opportunities, a specific focus on personal interests and goals, and supportive relationships with mentors and volunteers, young people who participate in RTG are supported to achieve:

• Graduation from high school

• Insight about their personal interests and how to pursue them

• Sufficient credits and grades for PSE, including apprenticeship, college or university

• Digital literacy skills

• Career aspirations that match their personal interests and goals

The program has been active for several years and we have received positive feedback from participants and their parents who have indicated that this program has been very helpful.  Your generous support allows Clubs to continue providing this much-needed resource for the children and youth we serve.


Charles and Christabel
Charles and Christabel

THANK YOU for your support of Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada! Because of you, Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada is able to provide opportunities for youth and children. Please continue to read below to learn about two club kids who have decided that going to university will be an investment in their futures.


Charles says “I decided I’ll be going to university after high school instead of working full-time.” A Grade 11 student and member of Boys and Girls Clubs of South Coast BC, Charles made his decision after completing a 2-part, online learning module created by Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada in partnership with the Social Research and Demonstration Corporation and funded by Prosper Canada’s TD Financial Literacy Grant Fund. School Cents: Get There, Learn How presents information through short questionnaires and quizzes in an interactive youth-friendly storyline. The module encourages students to weigh the pros and cons of higher education as opposed to entering the workforce full-time after high school. The module’s second part provides information and examples to help youth develop the knowledge, skills and confidence to assess how they could pay for post-secondary education. School Cents also encourages financial literacy by introducing concepts like good debt and bad debt, opportunity costs and the difference between grants, scholarships and loans. “The module gave me information on how making an investment right now can benefit me in the future,” Charles explains, after considering the average lifetime earnings one could expect with a university degree, a college diploma, an apprenticeship or a high school diploma. His fellow Club member and classmate Christabel decided that getting a degree is also the best choice for her, based on what she learned from the School Cents module. “My plan is go straight to university, use my scholarships, apply for bursaries School Cents and other scholarships, and maybe even get a part-time job to help pay for tuition and living expenses,” she says. “Despite the costs, it’s still worth it because a university degree will get me a better job in the end.” School Cents focuses on the pros and cons of higher education in general rather than specific considerations related to different fields of study. Youth wondering what educational programs might be the best fit for them are directed to explore myBlueprint, an online education planner available to students across Canada. Charles says he’s glad he completed School Cents. “The module has helped me make decisions that are essential for my future,” he says. “It gave me information and helped me choose my path.”


What do you think? Are you interested in more information about how you can support Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada? Please get in touch - or 1 - 844 - 477 - 7272 ext. 271

Lauren's Learning Ways

“Joie de vivre. That is Lauren in a nutshell.” Amanda Audette, Program Manager at Boys and Girls Club of Fredericton shares. She is very proud of this cheerful 8-year-old. “I’m in French immersion!” Lauren says with enthusiasm, “I’m going to go to Paris someday.”

Lauren’s parents were initially hesitant about enrolling their daughter in French immersion and were concerned that switching her from the regular curriculum would be too much of a challenge. “Lauren convinced them to give her the opportunity and they finally agreed because of the academic support she gets with us after school, five days a week.”

Created by Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada and funded by Fidelity Investments for over a decade, Power Up! is an academic enhancement program for children between 6 and 12. In the program, kids get to try new things and develop life and learning skills but, most importantly, they have fun—an important factor for kids like Lauren, who declares recess as her favourite “subject” at school. “I really like the Power Up! Homework Club because I get all my work done here before I go home,” Lauren says. “Lauren’s mom really likes it too,” Amanda says with a smile. “It makes things so much easier for her, knowing Lauren’s getting help with her French vocabulary and reading. And with the homework out of the way, the whole family can relax and enjoy their evening.”

Most of our parents tell us how much they value the academic support provided by Power Up! and the fact that volunteers, tutors and mentors are provided at no extra cost.” Power Up! promotes learning, both in and out of the classroom and Boys and Girls Clubs are happy to support children’s development while aiding parents and families with the provision of this program. <all the Fidelity detail sounds like we’re overrun with support, i.e. as if funds aren’t still needed.


THANK YOU for your support of Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada (BGCC)! Because of you, BGCC is able to help youth like William, a youth member of our Ottawa Club, achieve their academic goals. As a result of the support provided by Boys and Girls Clubs – and the support from Rogers Raising the Grade that William received – he is pursuing his professional aspirations and is excited to now be giving back to support other kids and his community.


A thoughtful, articulate 18-year-old, William explains that he knew years ago he wanted a career in medicine.

"I'm an early decider," he says with a smile. He also has a personal reason.
"My grandmother lived with us in China before the family moved to Ottawa and she had a lot of lung problems. When I heard her coughing when I was little, I'd tell her: ‘One day, I am going to invent a medicine that will make you better.’
"Sadly, she died before we came to Canada in 2009 and I didn't get a chance to help her. But I’d like to make a contribution to society and I like working with people so I want to be a pharmacist."
William is clearly on track for success. He signed up for Rogers Raising the Grade at the Boys and Girls Club of Ottawa when he was in Grade 11 and is beginning an undergraduate program at the University of Ottawa as a prerequisite to pharmacy school.

Rogers Raising the Grade (RRTG) is a national program of Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada and offered in 43 service locations across Canada. RRTG offers homework help, connections with mentors and tutors, and a chance for youth to explore their interests and post-secondary education options. 
The program features Club-based tech centres offering access to computers, high-speed Internet, and a welcoming place to relax and study with peers. Students meet at the Club after school a few times a week to establish and achieve their goals for high school and beyond. 
Many RRTG mentors are in university or recently graduated so they have a lot of good, relevant advice, William says. 
William says he was lucky to be mentored by Peter, who recently completed his surgical residency at the Civic Hospital. "Peter is amazing and really helped me a lot. He told me what courses I needed to take and his experience really expanded my vision.”
William’s been working part-time at a pharmacy for the past year, helping prepare and fill prescriptions, so he’s already getting a good understanding of the job of a pharmacist. 
He has also been working part-time at the Boys and Girls Club for the last two years and plays sports of all kinds every chance he gets. 

Will he be able to keep everything up with the added demands of university?

“I think I’ll manage,” he says with confidence. "My mentor helped me figure out my work/life balance and gave me some good time management tips. He is much more than a mentor to me—he is a friend.”
William says he hopes he can also be a Rogers Raising the Grade mentor. This year, the Ottawa RRTG program is already at full capacity and according to Melissa, the Education Manager at the Club’s Police Youth Centre location, "kids are jumping at the chance to get into the program."
What do you think? Are you interested in more information about how you can support Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada? Please get in touch – you can reach Sarah at or 1-844-477-7272 x271.

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Organization Information

Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada

Location: Toronto, Ontario - Canada
Website: http:/​/​
Project Leader:
Sue Sheridan
Toronto, Ontario Canada

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