The students of Ponoka are being given more academic and personal support than ever thanks to a new Ponoka Youth Centre program determined to brighten youths’ futures.
Rogers Raising the Grade, along with 40 Boys and Girls Clubs across Canada, has aimed to increase academic skills and graduation rates by giving students in grades 8 to 12 the encouragement and tools needed.
Program co-ordinator Leah Cline says a new technology centre for the program has been set up within the Youth Centre with computers full of software and websites linked from Rogers’ main program portal.
The centre was completed mid-August. “It’s brand new for us this year,” said Cline.
A specialized website has the capacity to help students set academic goals, track post-secondary schools’ program requirements and employment rates. It can also help students decide what courses they need to take to foster their interests and advance their career paths.
“Then there’s badges they can earn to show future employers,” said Cline.
Ponoka’s program is looking for 20 interested students as well as mentors and tutors willing to commit Mondays and Thursdays after school.
“It’s student driven,” said Cline. “We have weekly themes, but it’s very interest driven.”
“It’s a place to get additional help and support but also a place to discover your interest and what they can do with them,” said Beth Reitz, executive director.
Along with in-house support, the students will also take field trips to post-secondary institutions, job sites and listen to guest speakers.
Cline says mentoring is not an academic role within the program, but they are there to support the students in their pursuits.
While tutors will be brought in for the program, Cline says volunteer tutors are also welcomed. “Anyone who feels proficient enough in any of the subjects.”
Information and orientation nights for volunteers are being held Sept. 11 and 17 respectively. Both are at the Youth Centre from 4 to 5 p.m.