The L.E.A.F. Initiative is a Commonwell program to grow capacity and resiliency in the communities we call home.

Addressing Learning Loss in Schools

18 William St. E Smiths FallsK7A 1C2

Target Completion Date: January 1, 2023

What is this project about?

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Lanark county wishes to expand its reach into county schools to make a significant impact on the worrisome learning loss caused by the COVID-19 Pandemic.

BBBSLC has been providing mentorship to young people since 1973. All of our programs are delivered by volunteers and supervised by paid staff who ensure child safety and program outcomes. Through our popular and sought after In-School Mentoring Program, we reach kids on a one to one capacity to provide an objective ear, safety checks and a quiet hour to re-group and address challenges. By expanding the outcomes of this already well recognized and structured program, we believe we can have a significant impact on learning loss.

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused significant impact to our deliverables in this program. Not only were volunteers afraid to go into schools, most school would not allow it. While some families agreed to on-line mentorship in this capacity, the number of kids reached dropped significantly. In a nut shell- kids who needed in-school support were not getting it. We know that this fact has contributed to significant increases in mental health concerns as well as rampant learning loss.

Our goal is to address this gap in services in an impactful and steadfast way via; hiring three full time employees to modify our existing program, complete Nationally required on-going monitoring work, collaborate with school staff to develop learning plans specific to each child, and then tutor 50 kids per week for 3 X 12-week cycles for a total of 150 kids impactfully served.
Our In-school programs are already very well received by our 18 partnering schools, are recognized by our National body as well as the Ministry of Education. We already have existing MOU’s with all area schools. What we need now are the financial resources to get past the volunteer shortfall with paid staff to deliver programming anyway!