Did you know that British Columbia has one of the highest child poverty rates in Canada? Also, children in middle childhood, aged 6-12, spend about 67 hours a week in unstructured activities - that’s more time than they spend in school! As a result of the generous donations by Dr. Phillip Hill and Westport employees, we have the opportunity to become the United Way’s corporate partner with their Community Schools Program. These after-school programs are offered in most Vancouver schools for children aged 6-12 to provide a safe, fun, and educational environment. From 3:30pm to 5:00pm each school day, students are able to participate in a range of programs like academia, music, sports, crafts, and art, organized by the Vancouver School Board staff and trained volunteers.
Starting today, three Westport employees get the chance to act as volunteer program leaders through the fall term at Lloyd George Elementary (just a few blocks away from Westport). These “Yarn Artists” (Teresa K., Kat W., Heidi C.) will help kids discover all the fun and creative things they can do with yarn - from making crochet holiday ornaments to cool accessories. The students will get to do a different project each week for the next seven weeks. What other fun things can you do with yarn?
“I’m looking forward to teaching the lessons and think this is such a great experience for the students as well as the youth leaders (high school students) who get to learn about social responsibility by contributing to their own communities,” Teresa said. “When we teach high school students about social responsibility, we are creating a future community with caring people.”
At Westport, we recognize the responsibility we have to the neighbourhoods in which we live and work.
Check out this short video showing the kids' experience and the high school volunteers' perspectives: http://vsb.bc.ca/communityschoolteams