img_6366 Tommy has been attending our West Club for over a year and our staff quickly learned that he was having some trouble in school. One day his mom came into the Club to specifically ask that we help him with his reading and spelling. Our Olivia, a Club staff member, was able to sit down with him every day the week before his upcoming spelling test and help him practice. The following week, Tommy came into the Club, grinning from ear to ear, and told our staff that he got his highest mark ever on that spelling test!

That story, and many others, was made possible this year in part by HSBC Bank Canada’s $50,000 contribution to enhance the literacy and homework programs in our Clubs. From December 1, 2015 to October 15, 2016, over 1600 kids had access to extra support with their school work.

Support like this is so important to our community’s kids on their journey to graduating from high school. Literacy research shows that a child’s future success and likelihood of graduating high school depends on their ability to read by Grade 3. Once they pass grade three, they stop learning how to read and start learn by reading so it’s very easy for them to fall behind. As a result, 1 in 5 students in Alberta don’t graduate from high school.

According to Brittany, our Tweddle Club Coordinator, the HSBC funding has helped make it possible for their Club to drastically change their approach to homework programming.

_k7a0016“This year we were able to provide kids with more homework help,” Brittany explains. “Every day when the kids came in we’d ask if they had homework and then they’d sign up for a tutor, so either a staff or volunteer. It resulted in a lot more one-on-one help for the kids. Some of them did so well that they got certificates from their teachers or letters home to their parent’s congratulating them!”

Often, homework is hardest on newcomers to Canada as they work to understand the language and differences in the education system.

“At the Africa Centre, our homework program is quite popular because we work with immigrant and refugee populations,” explains Tessa, Club Coordinator at the Africa Centre. “Lots of our kids are significantly behind in literacy because they came from another country or their parents didn’t understand the need to get a head start in literacy. The kids are eager to get help at the Club because there often isn’t the same level of support at home.”

Similar success stories can be seen across all of our 9 after school Clubs thanks to the HSBC program. In addition to the direct impact of that financial donation, HSBC employees volunteered at our Clubs through Days of Caring with the children. Over 20 HSBC employees attended three sessions at our West and McCauley Clubs and engaged in various activities, from physical activity, snack, supper & supper prep, homework programs and arts and craft activities with our children and youth!

Boys & Girls Clubs Big Brothers Big Sisters is so grateful to HSBC for their support – homework and literacy are the keys to ensuring a child has a successful future, and it is work we couldn’t do without caring companies like HSBC.

“I’d rather do my homework here than at home because I get more help from the staff and more information.”  – Venissa, 9 years old

 

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