Stanstead teens well-served
Whenit comes to services in municipalities across the province, it’s often the teenagers who get overlooked. That doesn’t seem to be the case in Stanstead as two important local services for adolescents, the Phelps Helps tutoring program and
the weekly Youth Night, are back in action.
What’s new and interesting, this year, is that both services will be overseen by the same coordinator, Clea Corman. First hired to replace Katie Lowry, the original coordinator of the elps elps program now on maternity leave, Ms. Corman also offered to animate the Stanstead Youth Night when that position popped up.
“The aim of the Youth Night is really socially oriented. It’s a place where adolescents can come and hang out; it’s open to their interpretations. There are comfy couches, sports supplies, a Wii. It caters to what they want,” explained Ms. Corman in an interview with the Stanstead Journal.
The Youth Night started up again last Friday night in the Stanstead Culture and Recreation Centre at 10 Phelps Street and will run until next summer. “We were getting to know each other and I was taking suggestions from the kids. They had a great idea about organizing a talent show. There are some really exciting financing opportunities, here in the Eastern Townships, for projects created by kids,” said Clea enthusiastically. This Friday evening’s theme is music and the teens can bring a musical instrument they play or music they’d like to listen to. Any Stanstead teens aged between twelve and sixteen are welcome to go to Youth Night, any or every Friday night, from 6:30 to 8:30. This club for teens is free and bilingual.
elps elps held its first session on September 23rd, also at 10 Phelps Street. This free, after school tutoring program, which runs on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4:30 to 6:00 pm, is for Alexander Galt High School and Lennoxville Vocation and Training Centre students. With a special pass from their school, students can take the school bus right to 10 Phelps Street, or they can simply stop by and sign up during its opening hours. Students can attend every session or just when needed. Tutors can help not only with regular schoolwork, but also with special school projects or assignments. “One of our students is getting help to get her degree in ‘Voced’,” said Clea. “We’re flexible.”
“On Tuesdays, we have a variety of tutors: retired teachers, Bishop’s University students… We could use more volunteer tutors from the community on Tuesday night. On Thursdays we have a great group of Stanstead College students who tutor. Some of them have tutored before, but they all have the instinct of potential teachers,” said Ms. Corman.
“It’s been running smoothly. Students can come if they need help with homework or if they just want a quiet place to do their homework in – there are always healthy snacks waiting for them. We encourage the students to focus on their work and we try to change negative attitudes towards schooling,” explained Clea who went to school at Les- rsulines and College erite, and recently graduated from Bishop’s University with a Bachelor of Arts in Clinical Psychology.
Sunnyside Elementary will also benefit from the elps elps program for a second year in a row, even more important this year since the provincial government funding for the school’s own after school tutoring program was cancelled. “We will be at Sunnyside two days a week this year. On Tuesdays we’ll focus on homework while on Thursdays we’ll combine educational activities with physical activities, like focusing on reading skills through a cooking workshop,” said Ms. Corman.
“I feel like elps elps has several aspects to it: help with homework; a good place to do homework; and tutors that encourage the students to like school and to succeed. We’re there for them. To have a program like this in a small town like Stanstead is quite unique.”
Rural teens have their own set of challenges, ones that Clea is certainly familiar with. “I grew up in Way’s Mills and went to school in Stanstead and Ayer’s Cliff. I did my practicum in Clinical Psychology at Alexander Galt High School. I’m definitely a Town-shipper!”
“I’ve always worked with youth. I like the opportunity to make a difference in their lives. Positive adults who come into the lives of teens can really make an impact,” Clea concluded.
For more information about either Phelps Helps or the Stanstead Youth Night, contact Clea Corman at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Clea Corman is the new coordinator of both the elps elps tutoring program and Stanstead Youth Night.
Galt students get some help from a Stanstead College student tutor at elps elps last Thursday.
Thanks to the many Stanstead College students who volunteer to tutor, one-onone help is often available on Thursdays.