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Surrey after-school programs help students meet educational challenges

by Tanya Laing Gahr
February 21, 2018

Community investment, Education

​Two Surrey schools will benefit from a $10,000 donation from FortisBC through its support of the Vancouver Sun’s Adopt a School program. AHP Matthew Elementary’s after-school program, BLAST, and the Peer-to-Peer Mentoring Program at Queen Elizabeth Secondary have received $5,000 each to support programming for at-risk and vulnerable youth, providing them with programming at a critical time of day. 

“FortisBC invests in initiatives such as the Adopt a School program because we understand the value these programs bring to students, parents and teachers, and to the community at large,” said David Bennett, Director, Communications and External Relations for FortisBC. “More than 720 FortisBC employees live and work in Surrey so we see this as an investment in our own community. We appreciate the work that Surrey Schools is doing with AHP Matthew Elementary and Queen Elizabeth Secondary to help their students overcome obstacles and discover a lifelong love of learning.”

At AHP Matthew, the BLAST program was developed to address the needs of children who face multiple challenges including barriers to participation in after-school programs, being new to Canada or chronic attendance issues. FortisBC’s contributions to BLAST will help provide children with the opportunity to participate in an enriching after-school program that can improve health and fitness, help them do better in school, and improve their self-confidence and overall social, emotional, mental and physical wellbeing.

At Queen Elizabeth Secondary, staff work to build positive skills, relationships, leadership and citizenship among students at this central Surrey school  With the continued support of FortisBC, Queen Elizabeth Secondary is able to offer a peer-to-peer mentoring program that operates after school from 3 to5 p.m., three days a week. The program provides one-to-one and small group tutoring for Grade 8 to10 students from trained Grade 11 and 12 tutors, teacher moderators and community volunteers.

In addition to the peer-to-peer mentoring, the program will be introducing a group component with the goal to build confidence, life and social skills among at-risk students in a safe and supportive environment. These groups will establish a schedule of trips around Surrey and the Lower Mainland to expand horizons, give students a positive vision for their future, help students to set goals and build paths to attain them. The program is also planning a series of guest speakers to expand students’ understanding of the world outside of their neighbourhood.

FortisBC’s Community Investment program has supported the Vancouver Sun’s Adopt a School over the last number of years as part of its commitment to invest in initiatives that support stronger, healthier B.C. communities.