Phelps Helps participant pays it forward
after school tutoring and study program, Phelps Aide Phelps Helps, held a press conference, last Friday, to highlight how the successful program has evolved in the last four years and how it functions today. The program began as a tutoring initiative for high school students attending Alexander Galt and was located in the town’s Recreation and Culture Centre on Phelps Street, where it continues to welcome students with healthy snacks and enthusiastic, qualified tutors, on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4:30 pm to 6:00 pm.
Three years ago, the program expanded to Sunnyside Elementary School where university and college student volunteers tutor children and gain important experience for their future careers, on Tuesdays and Thursdays after school.
The coordinators of Phelps Aide Phelps Helps also took the opportunity, during the press conference, to thank their many local volunteers and generous spon-
sors for their help in creating the community-based program which has consistently helped local students to both succeed and excel in their studies.
In attendance at the press conference was a former participant who is now herself tutoring in the program. “I started going to Phelps Helps in 2012, its first year. I was in my last year of high school and I had failed a high math class the year before and had a few heavy courses like chemistry and physics. I didn’t always need help but it was great to have a quiet space to work with no distractions, and when I needed help it was there,” explained Louise Lachance-Harrison who now attends Champlain College. “The atmosphere at Phelps Helps was really good and they set a table aside for me to work quietly at. They’re very flexible and even made sure there were tutors there who could help me with particular subjects. And when I was ready to apply for college, I wasn’t sure how to fill out all the papers for financial aid, so they helped me with that, too,” added the college student, now in her third year of the college’s Special Care Counseling Program.
“I think the Phelps Helps program is a really beneficial thing for the kids in Stanstead. It’s hard for them to stay at school for programs after the buses leave, and it’s hard just getting back and forth to school with one and a half hour bus rides each way. I think this program can help change the perceptions some people have about Stanstead kids,” commented Louise.
Louise is now a tutor in the Phelps Aide Phelps Helps program. “This semester I had a more flexible schedule so I started tutoring at Sunnyside Elementary in November, on Tuesdays. It’s nice to see the progress in the children after working with them for a few months.” After college, Ms. Lachance-Harrison hopes to further her studies at the university level.
Former Aide Phelps Phelps Helps participant Louise
Lachance-Harrison (left) spoke about how the program helped her to pursue her academic goals at the press conference, last Friday, as the program’s directors
Clea Corman (middle) and Katie Lowry look on.