Every summer, Boys & Girls Clubs Big Brothers Big Sisters grows. With kids getting out of school and parents still working, children need somewhere safe, fun, and educational to spend their days. For hundreds of kids, that place comes in the form of one of our summer programs. We run over a dozen of these, each in a different location in the city and each catering to the needs of that community. With these new programs, comes a stream of new kids. Over the school year, our McCauley Club (for example) sees around 30 kids each day. During the summer that number shoots up to 70. That means more staff and volunteers are necessary to make sure each child receives exceptional support and supervision.
Thankfully, the Government of Canada recognizes the importance of our summer programming and provides support through Canada Summer Jobs. We have been fortunate to receive the funds needed to hire post-secondary students to work with us each summer. The staff who run our summer programs, cannot fully express the incredible collaboration between these summer students and our staff teams. They help us ensure our programs are efficient and successful.
We always encourage summer students to run at least one program daily and this year each of our students took initiative to plan and deliver their very own programming – always with the backup and support of our more senior staff. The students expressed how much they enjoyed working with our programs. It was meaningful for them to use the skills they’ve learned in school in practical situations to engage kids in positive interactions and educational activities.
Not only is having the summer students working with us valuable to our children and families, but we are able to
work intentionally with them to build leadership and job skills before they embark on further education studies. Many of the students even had an opportunity to chat with their Member of Parliament when each one stopped by our summer sites. They chatted with our kids and our students about their learnings from the program and vision for their futures.
As summer comes to an end, we wish our students the best of luck in the new school year and hope that they’ll consider rejoining us once they have earned their degree. We are blessed to have many longtime staff working for us today who once started at a summer student.
All of us at Boys & Girls Big Brothers Big Sisters of Edmonton & Area thank Canada Summer Jobs and our respective Members of Parliament from the bottom of our hearts for your support of children in our community and beyond. Because of you, hundreds of kids in our community have access to people and places that are the foundations for their future.