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Helping children stay inspired and learning

April 30, 2021

There is growing evidence that both literacy and numeracy are strong predictors of a child’s long-term achievement. The quality and affordability of out-of-school supports is an issue for many parents who are living in low-income. Many socio-economic challenges are beyond the capacity and scope for schools and teachers to overcome and require a coordinated effort. Providing out-of-school supports ensures vulnerable students don’t fall further behind their peers in school. That’s where United Way and its partners stepped in to help. Here are some examples of our work over the past school year.

Virtual Learning Pilot

United Way launched a new Virtual Learning Pilot program during the pandemic. It offers individual social and academic support for students who are living in low-income. The program focuses on math and literacy support for students in Grades Six and Nine, with the goal of improving school engagement, attendance, and academic achievement to help pave the way to academic success. The program is currently offered at nine different elementary schools throughout Windsor-Essex County, and includes access to technology for families who are unable to afford this vital resource.

In younger grades, students participate in activities like a virtual math scavenger hunt to practice skills while having fun. In the older grades, students learn cooking skills, like making their own personal pizza from scratch. Attendance at these programs is strong as students like the social interaction with their peers. There are 70 students in the pilot.

screen shot otts eating pizza

Putting Young People on the Path to Success

United Way’s On Track to Success program shifted its programming online to help support students as they navigate school and life in the midst of a pandemic. Students currently engage in bi-weekly social mentoring workshops that include presentations on financial literacy, healthy relationships, and digital literacy. Students in Grade 10 and 11 participate in small group mentoring focused on career navigation, and workshops that enhance their employability. For students transitioning to post-secondary education, the On Track to Success program offers support with career navigation, the Ontario Student Assistance Program, and scholarship applications.

This program is generously supported by TD Bank Group’s Community Resilience Initiative, The Government of Canada’s Emergency Community Support Fund, and BB Branded. Thank you for your support of these vital out-of-school programs.

Last updated on April 1, 2022

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