Stanstead teens well-served

Stanstead Journal - - FRONT PAGE - Vic­to­ria Vanier, Stanstead

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 clea­cor­man@gmail.com.

Photo Vic­to­ria Vanier

Clea Cor­man is the new co­or­di­na­tor of both the elps elps tu­tor­ing pro­gram and Stanstead Youth Night.

Photo cour­tesy

Galt stu­dents get some help from a Stanstead Col­lege stu­dent tu­tor at elps elps last Thurs­day.

Photo cour­tesy

Thanks to the many Stanstead Col­lege stu­dents who vol­un­teer to tu­tor, one-onone help is of­ten avail­able on Thurs­days.

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