Raising the Grade is an educational program of Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada, proudly supported by the Youth Fund. In Raising the Grade technology centres located in each participating club, club staff and mentors help youth to discover their interests, shape career goals and plan for their future.
Youth are matched with a mentor or volunteer who help them to:
• Discover and explore interests
• Figure out academic and career pathways
• Choose high school courses that lead to interesting careers
• Study for courses and work on homework
• Fill out applications to post-secondary institutions and apply for scholarships
Program participants also have access to the website’s Community site where they can share ideas with other program youth while discovering what they love to do.
The Raising the Grade technology centre provides youth with a designated room containing state-of-the art computers, high-speed Internet access and cutting-edge open software to best support their learning and interests.
Raising the Grade is focused on the interests and goals of young people. The program is not an extension of the school day but is a place where they can learn, discover interests and receive academic support when they need it.
Raising the Grade Core Principles:
1. Learning should be driven by personal interests and goals
A child can be coerced into attending school, but they cannot be coerced into actually engaging in learning. To bridge the gap between merely attending school and authentically engaging in the process of learning, learning must be connected to the things that are important to him/her, such as a fascination with a baseball scores, or an aspiration to become a scientist. All the activities that make up Raising the Grade begin with youth identifying their interests and goals. Then it’s up to the youth and their Mentor, along with support from peers and other staff and volunteers at the Club, to figure out how interests can help shape goals, and in turn, how those goals can be reached by breaking them down into simpler, more manageable tasks.
2. The educational resources needed for the Raising the Grade program are freely available online –
Raising the Grade’s web site http://my.raisingthegrade.ca/ contains extraordinary pathways to the arts and sciences, including the opportunity to contribute to cancer research, take computer science sources from M.I.T., write fiction for a world-wide audience, and even design and play video games. The idea is to enrapture young people while helping them navigate the online resources that will enable them to reach their own goals. It’s not just about getting better marks at school.
3. Literacy in the 21st century is digital and interactive
The meaning of literacy is changing on a fundamental level. It's still true that a young person's level of literacy predicts much of his/her future success in education and work, but literacy itself has morphed to include not just reading, but numeracy, document use, and other essential skills, such as digital literacy. The changing nature of work means that throughout their careers, today’s youth will constantly be required to update their knowledge and skills. Raising the Grade activities are centered on having youth use the Internet and technology to engage in curiosity-driven learning.
4. Program quality is the critical element of success
Through a rigorously designed evaluation framework, Raising the Grade will be assessed and improved as the program develops. By adopting strategies from the Youth Program Quality Assessment (YPQA) tool, the youth, staff and mentors of Raising the Grade will be given the opportunity to shape the program and ensure that it continues to be responsive to the learning needs of youth across the country.
About Youth Fund: The Youth Fund initiative is a national program that helps youth overcome education challenges and excel in the classroom and beyond. The Rogers Youth Fund is currently working with 16 local charities as well as Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada nationally. For more information, visit www.rogersyouthfund.com
For Information on how you can register for the program please contact:
Youth Engagement and Program Coordinator
Albion Neighbourhood Services
Albion Boys and Girls Club
21 Panorama Court, Suite 14
Toronto, ON, M9V 4E3
Office: 416-740-3704 Ext. 258