Literacy and Homework Programs – Boys & Girls Clubs Big Brothers Big Sisters of Edmonton (BGCBigs)

The Cause

We are proposing funding be used specifically to enhance literacy and homework programs, which happens across all nine of our clubs for all children and youth who attend. Via this existing programming, we’re targeting newcomer, immigrant and Aboriginal children and youth through Field Law funding.

Last year’s club programming served 1,405 children and youth who identified as immigrant, newcomer or Aboriginal across all nine clubs. For the one year of funding - encompassing afterschool and summer club programming in 2015-2016 - BGCBigs plans to serve the same total (1,405) of newcomer, immigrant and Aboriginal children and youth between the ages of 6-18 in 2016-2017 through Field Law funding across all nine of our Edmonton-based club sites.

Our clubs, and this program, will provide immigrant, newcomer and Aboriginal youth the opportunity to have targeted homework and reading help afterschool and in the summer months, a focus will continue on reading and literacy so skills are not lost before the next school year. Access to active play and physical recreation are also useful with children when learning and mastering a new language as it allows them an opportunity to experience new activities in a safe environment and increase a feeling of belonging, camaraderie and team building amongst others their age. In this safe environment, they hear their peers talking and it’s natural to repeat phrases and practice new words with friends when feeling secure and welcome.

Who Will it Benefit?

Our clubs continue to engage children and youth (6 to 18 yrs) from immigrant and refugee and diverse communities in afterschool and summer programs to assist with acculturation to Canadian culture, enhance language and academic skills, support high school completion, build self-esteem while developing a sense of belonging to the community, an awareness of healthy living and choices and preventing youth crime and gang recruitment by providing critical-hour programs.

A wide range of studies help us affirm that children who consistently participate in afterschool programs are more likely to become physically and emotionally healthy adults who are involved in a variety of caring relationships, are self-sufficient and independent, and participate fully in society. After school programs bring out the best in children because they provide safe, caring and healthy environments that inspire, challenge and support children to succeed. Children deserve to discover and nurture their passions and for hundreds of thousands of young people across the country, after-school is when it happens.