Squamish, BC, January 22, 2015 – A new program launches this month at Stawamus Elementary for children in grades 3 to 6 in an effort to help our community’s children reach their full potential and reduce bullying in our schools. Children are matched one-to-one with students from Quest University, who will help the children improve their academic abilities, as well as increase their confidence, social skills and enthusiasm towards school.
The matches will spend time together each week doing a mixture of academic and non-academic activities. Engaging in sports, arts and crafts, playground games or even just talking to a mentor can be extremely beneficial to a child in need of a positive role model. The one-to-one attention received by children in these sessions allows them to become open to new challenges and develops their ability to form strong relationships with their teachers and peers, as well as become less likely to succumb to peer pressure. The academic portion of the mentorship is designed to help children stay focused in school and improve academic performance.
“I am honoured to partner with Quest University on this amazing project! Quest Students have always been such a valuable asset to our agency and this program is a unique way to provide more opportunities for them to volunteer, connect with children, and support our community,” says Ann Marie McKenzie, Program Manager at Big Brothers of the Sea to Sky Corridor. “There has been a need for free academic support services in Squamish for some time. I am extremely grateful to be able to assist more children and provide mentors to help build their self-esteem, self-confidence and hopefully inspire them to have a passion for learning.”
The program is primarily focused on supporting children however, their mentors, Quest University students, will also benefit by adding volunteer experience to their resumes, as well as develop leadership and communication skills. Quest University and Big Brothers Big Sisters Sea to Sky Corridor collaborated in designing the program, in response to a need for an after-school opportunity for volunteers and elementary students in the Squamish community.
The Whistler Blackcomb Foundation has made the program possible by generously donating $5,000 to Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Sea to Sky Corridor. The program began matching children with mentors mid-January and expect 15 children to benefit from it this year. Special thanks to Juanita Coltman and Sarah Hain at Stawamus Elementary as well as Dr. Megan Bulloch and Maya Greenberg at Quest University for spearheading the program.
About Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Sea-to-Sky Corridor
Big Brothers Big Sisters helps boys and girls aged 7 – 14 reach their full potential. Matching them with positive adult role models, the charity sees compelling impacts on children who develop more confidence, perform better academically and are less likely to succumb to peer pressure. The organization offers a number of volunteer opportunities to suit anyone’s schedule and welcomes volunteers from a wide variety of backgrounds. To learn more, please visit: beamentorseatosky.com.