Phelps Helps in new locale
Phelps Aide Phelps Helps, the after school tutoring program located in Stanstead and now in its fifth year, has moved its high school program to a new location. After four years in the Stanstead Recreation and Cultural Centre on Phelps Street, it will now be even more conveniently located in the ‘corner gallery’ building at the corner of Dufferin and Notre-Dame Streets. “We have given Phelps Helps a lease with free rent for five years. It’s a great program and we believe education is so important. We also think that having them in the building will enhance the Rock Island sector,” said the owner of the building, Gabriel Safdie.
The high school after school program will officially begin on September 13th and will run, like last year, on Tuesdays
and Thursdays, from 4:30 to 6:00 pm. “We’re grateful to have been able to share the town’s community center, but this building will be solely ours and we’ll have it designed to meet the needs of the program. The bus from Alexander Galt stops right there and the visibility that we have at the corner is fantastic,” explained Katie Lowry, the Program Director. “Parents and kids going by can see the students doing their homework through the windows. There are a lot of great kids putting in the effort and now people can see what they’re doing.”
Besides a nicely finished and spacious interior, the building comes with a full kitchen which will be helpful for the ‘healthy eating’ side of the program. “We have a partnership with the local grocery store and we get free produce to prepare healthy snacks with the students when they arrive,” said Ms. Lowry. The kitchen will also be used a lot during the program’s new summer program. “We teach everyday cooking lessons in the summer program. We had sixteen students from grades three to seven and four camp counselors, local high school students,” Ms. Lowry explained. One of the many activities the students took part in during the five day camp which had a science and engineering theme was the building of balloon-powered cars.
“We’ll now have office space, a real base where students who have graduated can come back and get help if they need it.” Former students in the program can get help filling out documents for school registration, student loans, even job applications. “We want to be able to support the students all the way through,” said the Program Director.
Another new program offered by Phelps Aide Phelps Helps is the Mentoring Program, started last year. High School students are trained as mentors for grade 5/6 students to help ease the transition from elementary school to high school. The students and mentors pair up to do activities, sometimes visiting local businesses together, tying in agriculture as well. “This program also provides leadership opportunities for the older students from Stanstead.”
The after school elementary programs, the activity-based learning program and the homework program, take place at Sunnyside Elementary, Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 2:30 to 4:00 pm.
“We are always looking for volunteers to tutor our high school or elementary school students. We have many students from Bishop’s tutoring but we’d like to find more community members to tutor. You don’t need to be a teacher to tutor, just someone who can have a positive influence,” concluded Ms. Lowry.
For more information about the programs or volunteering, call Katie Lowry at 819 704-0799 or visit the Phelps Helps Facebook page, or Phelpshelps.ca.
The Phelps Aide Phelps Helps program, seen here at their former location at the Stanstead Recreation and Community Centre, has moved to the ‘corner gallery’ building.