The YMCA of Okanagan is seeking part-time staff and volunteers to work in their Beyond the Bell program in West Kelowna, providing children in grades 1-5 with the additional help and attention they need to keep pace with their peers in school. YMCA Beyond the Bell is a fully funded after-school program offered at George Pringle Elementary school, providing academic and social supports to children who are struggling in school.
“The 2017 BC Child Poverty Report Card cited that West Kelowna had the highest child poverty rates ranging between 30 – 40 percent,” says Danielle Miranda, YMCA General Manager of Child Care. “Kids of low-income families are often at a six month academic disadvantage entering kindergarten, and commonly fall behind since they don’t have access to the early reading or pre-school education that other kids might have had. Beyond the Bell creates an environment to help these children feel valued, safe and free to express their thoughts and feelings in a welcoming environment that removes the pressures sometimes felt at home and school. But we need caring individuals to help us deliver this critical service.”
The Beyond the Bell program has had tremendous support from donors and the community over the past four years and has helped 153 children read at or above their grade level, increasing their likelihood to graduate high school and have the best success in life.
Beyond the Bell is set apart from any other after-school education program by its focus on literacy and numeracy skills through additional homework help, physical games and fun activities, its measurable outcomes, and the children’s ability to make new friends and feel they belong.
Teachers have indicated through the post satisfaction survey that 97% of the students who participate in this program have shown improvements in their motivation to learn, while 92% have shown improvement in reading
78% of students are participating more in class and showing more confidence, while 76% are showing new social skills
A number of paid and volunteer positions are now available and need to be filled immediately.
“I find working with the YMCA an amazing opportunity to not only grow in my own confidence but also help children to grow and thrive,” says Rachel, YMCA Beyond the Bell staff member. “I love seeing the improvements that the children make as the year progresses and have found my job to be an incredibly heartwarming and rewarding experience.”
Miranda implores, “We have a fully funded program and 40 children who are eager to learn. Special certifications are not needed to work in this program, just a willingness to help and make a difference in a child’s future”.
If you or someone you know would like to learn more about this life-changing program, please visit ymcaokanagan.ca/careers, call the YMCA of Okanagan Child Care division at 250-491-8678 or email [email protected].