Activity #7 Parent/Student Step up Program

To combat the underrepresentation of racialized Canadians in post-secondary education, the Applicant will deliver a tutoring program focused on improving literacy skills to children in kindergarten to grade 8 who identify as part of an underrepresented community, with a particular focus on low income Black Canadians.

This program will be led in an individualized, directed learning format where an instructor will work with a child and their parent(s) or guardian(s) to guide the child in developing, implementing, sustaining and refining their literacy skills. Initially this program will take place online via video-conferencing. In the future depending on health orders in place related to the Covid-19 pandemic, this program may take place in person at a classroom space in Toronto, Ontario. Each tutoring session will be one to two hours in duration and will focus on teaching five key literacy skills: decoding, spelling, reading, comprehension and vocabulary. After the first tutoring session the instructor will determine the number and frequency of sessions needed to bring the child’s literacy skills up to their grade level. Each tutoring session will begin with a lesson followed by exercises and activities to practice the skills learned.

The Applicant anticipates engaging individuals with appropriate qualifications to serve as instructors for this program, such as credentialed teachers, behavioural therapists and independent schools. In the future the Applicant plans to train its own staff and volunteers to deliver this program. The Applicant’s instructors may use various audio-visual equipment and technology to teach students. All of the equipment used as a part of this program is owned or licenced by the Applicant.

Parent(s) and guardian(s) will be encouraged to attend this program alongside their child to support their child in developing literacy skills. The Applicant has developed relationships with certain post-secondary institutions and it is possible that participating parent(s) and guardian(s) may be eligible to receive credit towards a degree. Relationships developed with the following educational institutions: Durham District School Board, Durham Black Educators Network of Durham college, Centennial College’s Centre for Global Citizenship Education and Inclusion & Co-Curricular Student Learning and Development unit; Global Esquire Canada; Halifax Regional Center for Education (HRCE)/ Education in Early Childhood Development (EECD) of Dalhousie University, etc; amongst many other relationships. Discussions and feasibility indices have been discussed with the above institutions to carry out the program in the future.

Benefits for parents:

  • Parents are exposed to work and see different ways they and their children can be successful in the future
  • Parents will be given information about services after high school and be encouraged to connect with a DARS (Dept. of Aging and Rehabilitative Services) counselor
  • Parents will be given reports of student’s progress throughout the program and ways to help them succeed after school
  • Parents are given opportunities to connect with DARS and Stand Up Inc. about life after school

Children enrolled in kindergarten to grade 8 and their parents can enrol in the program by completing an application form online on the Applicant’s website or in person at the Applicant’s office. The Applicant’s intake form will require all candidates to provide relevant personal information, such as their full legal name and contact information, personal circumstances, and a brief description of the literacy skills the seek to develop. The Applicant will target delivery of this program to candidates who identify as being part of underrepresented communities, with particular emphasis on low income Black Canadians. The Applicant anticipates that third parties, such as social service organizations, may refer individuals to this program.

After reviewing the applications and ensuring that a candidate is eligible to enroll, the Applicant’s directors or staff will select successful candidates based on the following:

  • relevant personal circumstances; and
  • demonstrated desire to learn.

The Applicant’s directors or staff will select and notify successful applicants via the contact information provided in the intake form.

No person who is related (by blood, marriage or other meaningful connection as determined by the directors) to a director or major contributor to the Applicant will be eligible for enrollment in this program.

This program will be delivered free of charge to enrolled participants. The Applicant will publicize the availability of this program on its website and social media accounts and through social service organizations in the community. In particular the Applicant will provide information to qualified donees, not-for-profit organizations and schools, with an emphasis on schools located in low-income neighbourhoods. Up to 20 students in kindergarten to grade 5 and 20 students in grade 6 to grade 8 may enrol in this program at any given time.