Blog Archive

A Growing Partnership: Skate and Read with the Spartans!

Stanstead College has been a long time supporter of our community organization, Phelps Helps. Collaboration has ranged from holding fundraisers for Phelps to offering their spaces for program use, free-of-charge. Since our founding in 2012, every Thursday, volunteer Stanstead College students and teachers walk to our location at 272 Dufferin Street to sit with one of our local youth to help them with their homework.

 

New this year, the elite Stanstead College Hockey players will team up with the Phelps Family Literacy Program for SKATE & READ with the  SPARTANS! On Saturday, September 22nd local families are invited to the Pat Burns arena where they will have the opportunity to skate and engage in fun literacy activities hosted by Spartan Hockey players and coaches!

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Phelps Helps weekly sessions to start September 11th

Happy ‘back to school week’ for all of our elementary and high school students! Phelps Helps will be kicking off our weekly programs on September 11th for the 2018-19 school year. This year, two new programs have been added to our schedule: Phelps en français (Elementary) and Family Literacy.

 

Phelps en français (Elementary) is an after-school tutoring program at Jardin-des-Frontières on Wednesdays. Coordinated by our newest team member, Alvin Sully, this program will provide support for students working on their homework and engage the students in focused activities in Math and Literacy. Every session will include healthy snacks and 25 minutes of physical activity.

 

The Family Literacy Program will host events throughout the school year with fun activities for the whole family. Keep an eye on our Facebook page for information about upcoming activities and how to sign up. Our coordinator has some exciting ideas in store.

 

Our weekly programs will take place as follows:

Elementary Tutoring: Tuesdays 2:30-4:00 p.m. at Sunnyside Elementary

Spark: Thursdays 2:30-4:00 p.m. at Sunnyside Elementary

Phelps en français - primaire: Wednesdays 3:00-4:30 p.m. at Jardin-des-Frontières

High school tutoring: Tuesdays and Thursdays 4:30-6:00 p.m.at Phelps Helps

Phelps en français: Wednesdays 4:30-6:00 p.m. at Phelps Helps

 

To sign yourself, or your child, up for one or more of our free programs call 819-704-0799, visit www.phelpshelps.ca or drop by our offices at 272 Dufferin street in Stanstead.

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Phelps’ S.T.E.A.M. Summer Camp

Last week, Phelps Helps’ held their annual week-long day camp with 21 campers and 6 camp animators from the Stanstead area taking part. The theme of our camp and inspiration for each activity was S.T.E.A.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math). Engineering was a particularly exciting topic for the campers. They built bridges out of spaghetti and created devices that protected eggs being dropped from 10 feet high. The art of music was showcased through a series of activities: campers learnt about sound waves, created their own musical instruments, and a special guest gave a rhythm workshop. The campers also had the chance to explore our community with a variety of excursions; they went swimming at the Lac Frontière Campground, descended into the famous Capleton Mine, and hiked Mount Pinnacle, to name a few.

 

The camp, while aiming to instill an interest in the sciences, also had a few other goals up it’s sleeve. The importance of a healthy lifestyle was encouraged through physical activity and healthy food choices. Each day, campers were responsible for making their own snacks and lunches, providing an opportunity to learn about healthy food preparation. Furthermore, the structured environment - incorporating a daily routine and guided activities - aimed to prepare students for the return to school over the coming weeks. We even had a few goals in mind with our camp animators. Their roles provided an opportunity to build leadership skills and valuable employment experience. They acted as instructors, friends and mentors to our campers throughout the week.

 

Needless to say, it was a busy week for our campers and camp animators. We wish you all a wonderful return to school and will be excited to see you at our sessions beginning September 11th.

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2018-19 Phelps Helps Team

Phelps Helps is happy to introduce our three new team members for the 2018-19 school year: Genevieve Lalande, Elizabeth Courchesne and Alvin Sully. Genevieve became a member of our team last year when she volunteered for the Phelps en français program and has now been hired as our Programs Assistant. Elizabeth began in June as the Education and Career Advisor. She is your go to person for anything related to returning to school, transitioning to post-secondary education or looking for employment in the area. Our most recent addition to the team is Alvin, who will be running our Phelps en français program. This tutoring program will continue on Wednesday evenings for all high school students and, new this year, on Wednesday afternoons for elementary students of l’École primaire Jardin-des-Frontières.

 

Phelps is always looking to grow our team with additional volunteers. Passionate volunteers play an essential role at Phelps Helps and our programs would not be possible without them. For the coming school year, we are seeking Francophone and Anglophone volunteers for elementary and high school levels in all subjects. Being a volunteer does not mean being an expert in any one subject; it means being willing to create a positive relationship with a local youth. Phelps provides all the training you need to feel confident in your role as a tutor.

 

Volunteering with Phelps Helps offers you the opportunity to make a positive impact on the lives of the students in the Stanstead area. Our volunteers develop a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction. “Volunteering with Phelps gives me a sense of community, purpose and joy” - Elementary volunteer. Sign up as a volunteer today by contacting our Volunteer Coordinator, Clea Corman, by email ccorman@phelpshelps.ca or call 819-704-0799.

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Fundraising in July

Even with students on summer vacation, the Phelps team is hard at work. Fundraising is a large part of what we do in order to offer each of our programs free of charge. Going into the 2018-19 school year, we will have nine programs - two more than last year. New this year is a Phelps en français homework program at Jardin-des-Frontières on Wednesdays after school and a Family Literacy Program that will take off in September.

 

Funds were raised to support Phelps’ programs at the Stanstead Reunion this July. The organizers of the reunion invited Phelps to raise money by selling drinks at the “Meet and Greet” event on Friday evening. Through bar sales and generous donations, we raised $658. Furthermore, the Lac Frontières campground donated the $3000 raised at their annual volleyball tournament to Phelps in support of academic perseverance.

 

On July 28 and 29, we held our second annual charity softball tournament: Stanstead’s Homerun. What a beautiful weekend it was for a tournament. With nine teams coming out to play and many spectators in the stands, it was a successful event. We raised $2900 thanks to our registrations, the canteen and the fact that all four teams placing in the A and B finals generously decided to donate their winnings.

 

We would like to thank the Lac Frontières campground, the organizers of the Stanstead Reunion and all of our volunteers at the softball tournament for their support.

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End of year party

June means the end of the school year and the end of Phelps’ weekly sessions, but for many of our students, it means a new beginning. They are finishing up one school year and will be diving into next year’s academic challenges in just a few months, taking that next step. Our elementary and high school students are completing end of year exams, the culmination of all the material learned this year. Some of our older students are moving on to cégep, others exploring career options, and some will be returning to high school for their final year. As a dynamic organization, there seems to be new beginnings around every corner; later this month, our space will be undergoing renovations to accommodate our growing number of participants and to adequately support our diverse offerings. To wrap up this amazing year, we will be hosting an end of year party on June 7th from 5-6pm for our 30+ volunteers and 160 participants and their families. We look forward to seeing everyone and celebrating the end of another successful school year!

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Ending the school year on a good note

Phelps’ weekly sessions are winding down, but there is still lots happening at Phelps. Two of our level 5 students, Marissa and Katrina, recently received awards from the Lampe Foundation and Phelps for their school perseverance. They have been attending Phelps for two years now, and

will be pursuing their educational goals at Champlain Regional College in the fall. We are also approaching the end of the school year, which means the exam period has begun and students are hunkering down to study and complete memory-aids and practice questions. One of Phelps partners, Global Excel, decided to lend a helping hand during this stressful time. Every year Global Excel dedicates time to give back to their community. This year, they chose to make Phelps Helps high school students care packages for their exams! With help from the Grace Village residents, each care package has an inspirational quote and essential study materials to motivate our students throughout their exams. A big thank you to Global Excel's Manage Care Team! Moreover, Phelps’ last session will be on June 7th , and students are invited to book individual appointments after that date for specific subjects. With care packages and extra help, we hope our students will excel in their final exams, ending the school year on a good note.

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And they're off!

On Saturday, May 12th at 9:30 a.m. the Stanstead 5km Race officially started with the start-gun fired by our mayor, Philipe Dutil, sending 78 racers sprinting ahead. The race has been held annually in Stanstead and organized by Michael Sudlow for over a dozen years and attracts runners of all ages; this year we had runners from age 3 to 80+. For the second year, the race's profits were generously donated to Phelps for its educational and career support programs; this year, the race raised just over $900. The event went off without a hitch, thanks to Mr Sudlow and all the volunteers that came out to lend a helping hand. Elementary students had the option to run the race as a relay, sharing the run with a partner. This year, we had two pairs enter the race from Sunnyside, and we hope to see more next year. High schools were encouraged to participate by entering as many students per school, receiving points for participation and rank of the runners. Stanstead College took home the win this year, with BCS, Galt and La Ruche trailing not far behind. Our family-friendly race will be held next year on May 11th , so keep an eye out for this great community initiative!

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Bionic Hands

Last week, Phelps was lucky enough to have 20 volunteer students from Stanstead College

during their annual community service day. Phelps’ weekly sessions are volunteer based, so with the extra help, we were able to put together a special activity for our Elementary

Educational Program: bionic hands! Students were challenged to think like engineers, building bionic hands with simple materials like paper, straws and string. With this one-on-one help, Sunnyside’s students made some pretty impressive hands that were – almost – able to pick up foam cubes. For many Stanstead College students, this was an opportunity to get to know their extended school community better and to share some of their experience and perspectives with a younger crowd. Phelps students had the opportunity to talk to high school level students who are focused on academics and value the importance of education. It’s great to see youth instinctively encouraging school perseverance!

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Mentoring Program visits Bishop's University

This week, Phelps’ mentoring program took a trip to Bishop’s University to tour the campus and swim in the indoor pool. Both the high school mentors and their grade 5 & 6 mentees were thrilled to be able to take part in this special Phelps excursion. Not only did this activity provide an opportunity for Phelps participants to get to know each other better in a fun environment but it also gave local youth a glimpse of what it would be like to attend Champlain or Bishop’s.

 

The Phelps' mentoring program was designed to help develop the leadership skills and

confidence of its' participants while helping to create a greater sense of community among our local youth.

 

Not only was Phelps impressed by the front flips performed at the pool, but we were very

pleased with the behaviour of all our participants. We wish to thank Bishop’s University &

especially our tour guide Ryan Smith for a fun-filled day!

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The Stanstead 5KM

Every year there is a 5km race that takes place in Stanstead, a simple flat loop along its historic streets and wooded paths. For the past decade, it has been organized by a dedicated local community member, Michael Sudlow. Last year, Phelps had the good fortune to receive the profits of the race as a donation; this year, we are helping Mr. Sudlow coordinate the race. Affectionately referred to as ‘The Stanstead 5km’, the event will be held on May 12th and is open to all, with running categories from youth (under 12 years old) to a master category for 80 years old and beyond. Registration runs from 8:00-9:20 AM at Sunnyside Elementary and the

start and finish line will be in front of town hall, beginning at 9:30 AM. To encourage elementary students to participate, we have also added a relay race option for the youth category as well as a ‘school trophy’ for the high school with a winning score; compiled by calculating the fastest runners and the most participants. Phelps baseball hats will be given to participating youth and the Sunnyside playground will be open to children and families (supervision provided by Phelps). Come out to Stanstead and enjoy the day outside: snacks, prizes and games for the whole family!

 

For more information about the race, visit facebook.com/PhelpsHelpsStanstead or

www.phelpshelps.ca

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Volunteer Tribute

This week we would like to highlight a very special volunteer, someone who has been with Phelps since the very beginning, dedicating countless hours over the years as our star math tutor: Lisa Smith. The level of dedication Mrs. Smith carries with her in everything she does has benefitted Phelps in immeasurable ways. She is also a committed board member, showcasing her pedagogical expertise in designing the approach to Phelps programs and her knowledge of the Stanstead area community. Lisa is one of our most knowledgeable tutors as she has been a teacher for over 30 years and is the head of math and sciences at Stanstead College.

 

Thanks to Lisa’s patience, selflessness, and hands-on approach to math, students have not only experienced academic success but know that they can depend on her consistency and unfailing kindness. Phelps would like to sincerely thank Lisa for her years of support; without her, Phelps would not be the same.

 

“I like seeing the success that the kids have and the fact that they now enjoy going to school.

They’re really happy with what they’re getting out of it and they’re no longer afraid to be in

school; they don’t see it as a scary place anymore, because they have support.” – Lisa Smith,

Phelps Helps video

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Lampe-Phelps Helps awards

The Lampe Foundation, an affiliate of CFUW Sherbrooke& District, and Phelps Helps are

teaming up this year to offer 3 unique awards to students who participate, or have participated,

in Phelps’ programs. Each award focuses on rewarding leadership, perseverance, and

community engagement. The first post-secondary bursary of $200 was awarded to Alesha

Grimes in December, and we are once again putting forward a call for applications. As we

approach the end of the school year, there are two awards for level 5 students planning on

attending post-secondary education, in the amount of $100. The application for these two

awards is due May 5th , and can be found on our website, on our Facebook page, or by

contacting info@phelpshelps.ca. We encourage all level 5 Phelpsers to apply!

 

The LAMPE foundation is community-based non-profit organization who is dedicated to

supporting education. They encourage qualified students from the Eastern Townships by

providing financial assistance through their many different scholarships. Since 1973, CFUW

Sherbrooke & District members have put aside funds for educational awards and the name

‘Lampe Foundation’ was established in 2010.

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Easter Egg Hunt

As part of Phelps’ focus on family literacy, we helped organize an Easter egg hunt in

collaboration with the Colby Curtis Museum. Over 50 kids and parents took part; families milled

around the grounds of the museum in search of a series of 6 eggs filled with treats and a secret

letter. The families then assembled the letters to solve a word problem, showing parents and

children how you can have fun with words. It was a beautiful sunny day and the Colby Curtis

provided treats, hot chocolate and tea for all those present for the morning activity. Free books

were handed out by Phelps to promote reading at home, as well as informational booklets on

health literacy for parents. Phelps looks forward to working with the museum team to

encourage families and kids to participate in other activities held by the museum.

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Summer Jobs!

With snow covering our community it may not seem as though spring is right around the

corner, but it most certainly is! Spring is the time of year that employers begin looking for

students to fill their summer positions. Our Graduate Support Coordinator, Jayme Marrotte,

has gathered information on over 20 summer jobs available in the Stanstead area. On March

23 rd , Phelps will be open for youth to discover these job opportunities and receive help with the

application process. Whether you need to make your CV, decide which of the many available

jobs interest you, fill out a job application, or practice your interviewing skills, Jayme and her

experienced volunteers will be there to help. The workshop will be held on March 23 rd from

4:30 to 6:00 p.m. at Phelps Helps, 272 Dufferin Street. Make your summer a productive one!

Employers interested in adding summer jobs to this list can send their postings to

info@phelpshelps.ca.

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Family Literacy at Portfolio Night

Family literacy can be encouraged in many different ways from reading with your kids to learning about numbers and money. It is a way for parents to be lifelong learners and to be more engaged with their children’s education. One of our goals at Phelps is to introduce creative activities that can be designed for young children to learn about letters and numbers at home. During Portfolio Night at Sunnyside Elementary, Phelps put together simple activities for young students and parents to do while they waited to meet with the teachers; molding clay to the shape of numbers and letters was one of the fun options that families had the opportunity to try. By integrating simple literacy activities at home, parents can help awaken a love of learning and reading in their children, helping them flourish at school. This week for March Break, Phelps will be opening their door to families on Thursday, sharing the Phelps library and showing parents how to encourage their children to become active readers through a special read aloud. Families are welcome to join us at 1:00 at the Stone Circle in Stanstead for outdoor games followed by snacks and games at 272 rue Dufferin today.

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Teamwork

Teamwork has always been a central part of Phelps. The opportunity to work collaboratively often generates that spark that ignites something truly special. The concept of Phelps started from two individuals brainstorming about how to address a real need within the community, and then reaching out to local resources to make a plan of action. Many community members knew that the systemic issue within Stanstead – one in three students do not finish high school – was never going to be effectively tackled by a single person; local youth needed a motivated team to support them. From the amazing work of our co-founders, to the dedication of our board, to the commitment of our staff and to the enthusiasm of our volunteers, Phelps is one of the best examples of teamwork that I have had the privilege to be a part of. As a small rural non-profit, Phelps has faced many obstacles, but they have been overcome by the creativity and hard work of its team. Teamwork offers support, encouragement and a different perspective. With our younger students, we encourage teamwork through hands-on chanllenges, showing them the infinite number of outcomes possible when working with others. On Tuesday evening, we had 24 high school students arrive after school, ready to study and do homework. As a team, our staff and volunteers welcomed them and made sure that every student was provided the individualized support they needed, whether it was math help, sitting in a quiet corner with one of our laptops or simply talking about the school day while working on a study guide. It was Hellen Keller that once said, "Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much."

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Hooked on School Week CONTINUED!

Hooked on School week, which emphasizes school perseverance, was a busy week for Phelps and continued into this week for Sunnyside Elementary. Last week we asked students to choose a growth mindset quote as a team and make a poster with it, explaining why they connected with that particular quote. “If you can dream it, you can do it” and “It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are” are just two of the quotes selected by our Phelps grade 3 through 6 participants. On Monday, grade 5 & 6 students walked down from their school to visit Phelps’ space at 272 rue Dufferin, a locale used weekly by our high school students. Our Phelps team welcomed them there, giving them a tour and showing them that once they are in high school, they will still have a place for them to study and get help with their homework. Katie Lowry, our Executive Director, was asked to present during Sunnyside’s assembly on Tuesday. She prepared a topic and a mini-talk about school perseverance, and was going to ask a few Phelps participants to come up and talk about their quote-posters. Much to our surprise, her plan went slightly awry: as soon as the principal announced that Katie was going to talk to the school, the entire group of Phelps participants – over 20 students – got up with her and proceeded to the stage. Smiling, she adapted her plan and continued on, talking about the power of perseverance and how adding ‘not yet’ to the end of your sentence might just give you the courage to learn a new skill or keep trying. “I’m not good at soccer YET”, “I haven’t finished school YET”, “I am not in love with fractions YET”. What an inspiring two weeks!

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Hooked on School

Hooked on School week is upon us! For this one week in February, schools and community organizations across the entire province of Quebec highlight a topic that Phelps lives and breathes: perseverance. Phelps started in 2012 to help reduce the unacceptably high drop out rates in our area:  one in three students in Stanstead do not complete high school, a fact that drives much of what Phelps does. 5 years after launch, we see a change not only in the youth but within the entire community; if you drive through town you will see the white and green perseverance flag outside town hall. Hooked on School week provides us all with the opportunity to speak frankly with our youth about why it is important to stay in school: to continue learning, to get a better job and to have choices. As we asked our students to add their names to a ‘perseverance window mural’, making a commitment to finishing high school, an array of declarations were heard “I’m going to finish high school just to prove them wrong”, “Of course I’m going to finish high school!”, “I can’t see the future, but I want to stay in school”. For Phelps and our team, that is more than enough.  

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Perseverance

February is Black History Month, and at Phelps, we took the opportunity to talk about this subject with our elementary students during our literacy lesson on Tuesday. In Quebec, we are also heading towards Hooked on School week, when the importance of perseverance is showcased. In a small rural community, Black History Month is an opportunity to learn about a different culture. By discussing historical topics such as slavery and the underground railroad, students realize the full extent of the meaning and importance of perseverance. Phelps’ literacy lesson this week, with the help of a book called Henry’s Freedom Box, challenged students to think about the realities of a different time in history. Our students talked about hope, courage and family, noting the importance of freedom.

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Family Literacy Week

This week Phelps would like to highlight the value of collaboration between community organization. Phelps has developed many wonderful partnerships over the last 5 years; all playing an important role in helping Phelps to offer diverse services that truly meet the needs and interests of the Stanstead area community. Last Saturday, as part of Family Literacy Week, Phelps teamed up with Literacy in Action to hold a family literacy event in Stanstead. Literacy in Action, is a volunteer-based non-profit organization which offers free learning opportunities aimed at improving the essential skills people need for work, learning and life. We were also pleased to have Imagine Stanstead, a local project devoted to adult learning taking part as well. With over 25 participants, ranging in age from 3 – 92 years old, the Arts & Scraps Literacy Event was a true success. Thank you to all the families who participated, and to the partners who helped bring a fun learning activity to our community!

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Samantha: A Phelps Volunteer

Phelps’ weekly elementary and high school sessions have started back up again this week, and we are once again looking for volunteers to help make our programs thrive. We welcome cegep and university students, as well as community members young and old. Over the last couple of years, we have had several education students from Bishop’s University volunteer with our organization. Samantha, a student in the elementary of education program and a Bishop’s rugby player started volunteering with Phelps in the fall. She wanted to share some of her Phelps experiences:

 

Why do you volunteer?  

I volunteer because I want to make a positive impact on others and give back to the community. I also think it is a great way to gain experience working with students. 

 

What do you think students gain by attending Phelps’ sessions?  

I think students gain a sense of inclusion and belonging. Phelps raises students’ confidence and also makes them feel important and cared about.    

  

Can you describe one of your favourite moments with the students? 

One of my favourite moments was a day when I was doing math homework with an elementary boy. He told me he did not know how to do the work so he wasn't going to do it. After explaining the steps to him he was more willing to try. Once he completed the homework and I checked that the questions were done correctly he was very happy. I think I helped the student feel capable and confident which is very important to me. I also really enjoy playing sports with the students to help raise their confidence and make sure all students are included and having fun!

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STANSTEAD INTEREST SURVEY: Survey to bring free community activities to Stanstead area

The Imagine Stanstead project, along with a network of local community groups, is devoted to supporting adult learning. While already offering and planning a variety of free activities for the community, Imagine Stanstead wants to hear from YOU. Imagine Stanstead and Phelps wants to know what type of learning activities community members would like to benefit from. Adult learning activities can include everyday life skills like budgeting or yoga, or workplace skills, such as machining or accounting. 

Over the next month, Imagine Stanstead and Phelps Helps team members will be distributing a short survey to community members, asking what their interests are. The survey will be called the Stanstead Interest Survey. The survey will be made available for pick up in public spaces around town or you can watch for our team at various locations & events throughout the community.

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Yuyin: A Phelps Volunteer

Phelps’ weekly elementary and high school sessions have started back up again this week, and we are once again looking for volunteers to help make our programs thrive. We welcome cegep and university students, as well as community members young and old. Over the last couple of years, we have had several international students from Bishop’s University volunteer with our organization. Yuyin, a student in the Masters of Education program has been volunteering with Phelps’ elementary programs for a year now and wanted to share some of her Phelps experiences:

 

Why do you volunteer?  

   I wanted to get more involved in the community during my stay here and give back in a meaningful way. I also really like working with children: they are very energetic and creative. It would be very nice if I could have a positive influence on their lives.  

 

What do you think volunteers gain by attending Phelps’ sessions?  

    For me, I understand the education system in English schools in Quebec a bit more now.  Furthermore, I learned to be patient when I was with the children; they need time to grow.  At the same time, it is important to not treat them like babies, they have their own ideas about how the world works.  They can be responsible and grown-up if you treat them accordingly.    

  

Can you describe one of your favourite moments with the students? 

    There were many enjoyable moments, such as running around in the woods, playing games in the gym and working on team challenges with the kids. However, one moment stands out: we went outside to play before doing the activities inside and the students started opening up to me. They surprised me by totally trusting me and starting to share their life stories with me; they talked about their pets, family members, favorite games, etc.  Sometimes, all you need to do is to just listen quietly.    

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The Holiday Season

The holiday season is upon us and mother nature seems to have obliged by giving us the winter wonderland so often associated with this time of year. Somehow, when the world is doused in white, things getting quieter, giving us the opportunity to think. However, people tend to become abnormally busy during this time of year, running last minute errands for parties and buying gifts. December has been quite the busy month at Phelps as well, and we are looking forward to what the new year has in store. We have had an amazing start to this school year, with an incredible amount of support from the community and participation in our programs like we have never seen before. I know that over the holidays, I will be reflecting on all those moments we have shared with Phelps participants; the successes, the laughs and the ridiculous moments that arise from working with youth. There is a strong sense of pride for those who are choosing to participate in our programs and for those in the community who know how important it is to support our youth. You are all making a difference. A big thank you from the Phelps team, and best wishes!

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An Intergenerational Initiative

As part of an intergenerational project organized by the Townshippers Association, the Manoir Stanstead opened its doors to Phelps students on Tuesday, welcoming the grade 5 and 6 students from our Elementary Homework Program. We walked down the road from Sunnyside Elementary on our adventure, the students chatting about what types of questions they wanted to ask the residents of the Manoir and throwing the occasional snow ball. “What advice do you have for young people?”, “Where did you grow up?” and “What are your favourite activities at the Manoir?” were particularly intriguing to the students. Once there, we were greeted by the staff and residents, and quiet curiosity descended upon the group. Teams of students sat with different residents and were intent on asking their questions and listening to the insightful answers.  After asking all their questions, one group was able to help a resident finish a beautiful puzzle he was working on, while other groups had a chance to share some juice and cookies provided by the kind staff. The residents also took the opportunity to ask questions of their own; “What do you want to do when your older?” was a question that made the students stop and think about their futures. Intergenerational activities like our field trip to the Manoir Stanstead are an opportunity for different groups within the community to learn from one another and build a relationship, and I believe we did just that. A big thank you to the Manoir Stanstead for hosting our group of students.

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Student-led Fundraiser!

Thanks to the support of the community, Stanstead’s 3rd annual Winter Clothing Sale was a success! This student-led fundraiser, hosted by Phelps and in collaboration with Stanstead’s youth centre, Le Lounge, received many gently used winter clothing donations and some delicious baked goods. Enthusiastic student volunteers were key to the event’s success. Not only did they enjoy baking sweet treats to be sold, but also had a blast working together to give back to the programs that they enjoy weekly. The fundraiser reached its goal; Phelps will able to buy several ipad chargers for students who do their homework on ipads and Le Lounge will be investing in a flag-football kit for its active participants. Cookies, coats and gloves were sold, but above all many laughs were exchanged as the students spent the whole day with us at Phelps.

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Winter Clothing Sale

On Saturday, December 2nd from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Phelps will be hosting its annual Winter Clothing Sale in collaboration with Stanstead’s youth centre, Le Lounge. Every year, youth who participate in the Lounge and Phelps come together for this student-led fundraiser. This year, we have extended the range of items for sale to include not only coats, but all types of winter clothing: hats, scarves, mitts, snow pants and boots. The students will also be selling bracelets and Christmas cards that they’ve made, as well as delicious cookies and hot chocolate. We have received a number of quality brand-name coats that we will be selling at a low cost, as well as some older quirkier coats that may be excellent additions to a school’s drama department costume collection. With the money raised, the Lounge would like to purchase a flag-football kit and Phelps would like to invest in several ipad chargers for students who do their homework on their ipads. Come stop by 272 rue Dufferin in Stanstead this Saturday and you may find the perfect little gift for a niece or nephew, or find the coat or scarf you’ve been looking for. Thank you in advance for supporting this local fundraiser!

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Lampe - Phelps award

For the first time the Lampe Foundation, an affiliate of CFUW Sherbrooke & District, and Phelps Helps are teaming up to offer 3 unique awards to students who participate, or have participated, in Phelps’ programs. Each award focuses on rewarding leadership, perseverance, and community engagement. Two of these awards will be offered to level 5 students planning post-secondary education, in the amount of $100. The application for these two awards will come in March of 2018. The third award will be offered to a post-secondary student, in the amount of $200. The application for this third award is due by December 1st, 2017 and can be found on our website, on our Facebook page, or by contacting info@phelpshelps.ca.

The LAMPE foundation is community-based non-profit organization who is dedicated to supporting education. They encourage qualified students from the Eastern Townships by providing financial assistance through their many different scholarships. Since 1973, CFUW Sherbrooke & District members have put aside funds for educational awards and the name ‘Lampe Foundation’ was established in 2010.

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Mentoring

Phelps will be holding a mentoring activity this Friday for its high school and elementary students. Participants of our mentoring program have already had the opportunity to get to know one another during the Halloween food drive at the end of October when teams went door to door collecting canned goods. This Friday, our grade 5 and 6 students will be paired with high school students who have volunteered to be a mentor. As the date of the activity approaches, the high school students will excitedly ask ‘Who am I being paired up with?’ and the elementary students will start requesting to be paired up with specific individuals if they happen to already know a ‘Phelps big kid’. It’s not every week that elementary students get to have fun with older students, and it’s not every week that our older participants are given the chance to be leaders. For this mentoring activity, we’ll be baking in Phelps’ kitchen and it’s going to be a blast!

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Just One Person

At Phelps, we have learned many lessons. Perhaps one of our greatest lessons is that often all a student needs is one person to take a genuine interest in them; this could make the difference between a bright day and a dark one. With our students, we know that there is no cookie-cutter formula for reaching them, and we see that when we pair volunteer tutors with our elementary and high school students. We see that spark that appears when a volunteer sits beside a student, giving them their undivided attention. We see that sheepish grin as a new student appears at a door after five different people have encouraged them to come to Phelps. We see that sideways glance when we say that taking pride in your work is important and worth it. They are listening. These moments are hard to quantify or measure, but they are at the very heart of what Phelps, and its volunteers do everyday. Look for these moments, they often act as a tipping point for a student and are catalysts for moving forward.

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Halloween food drive

Instead of collecting candy on Halloween night, Phelps’ participants and local members of youth soccer and hockey programs took the opportunity to knock on people’s doors to ask for non-perishable food donations. The food was collected on behalf of the PACE C.A.B. Rediker, the volunteer centre in Stanstead. We had dozens of volunteers help with this initiative: teenagers hit the streets collecting the food donations from the homes and adult volunteers – as well as the local fire department – drove around to pick up the heavy bags of food. The community came together as a whole to restock the C.A.B.’s pantry, which supplies food for the emergency food bank program and the Christmas Basket Campaign. Thank you to everyone who participated and we hope that this might inspire other communities to do something similar next Halloween.

Phelps Aide Phelps Helps is an educational non-profit striving to reduce the elevated drop-out rate in the Stanstead area. Phelps was started in 2012 by two community members, and has grown from a single program to SEVEN unique programs, providing Stanstead area students with free tutoring, educational and career support and hands-on learning from grade 3 to the end of high school and further.

Phelps’ high school sessions are averaging 20 students per evening, and many benefit from one-on-one attention. We therefore are actively seeking new volunteers, specifically on Tuesday afternoons. If you have a couple of hours a month to spare and like helping others, please consider joining our dynamic group of volunteers to contribute to the success of Phelps’ programs! Please email us at info@phelpshelps.ca or call our offices at 819-704-0799.

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Be brave and take charge

High school can be tough, especially coming from a small rural town to a large regional high school. Everything seems big, foreign and unknown. For students in the Stanstead area, taking a bus to Galt or La Ruche can take over an hour one way. Imagine finishing a long day of school at the age of 13, having to ride the bus for an hour and then starting homework. For the first couple of years at Phelps, we would remark on the dedication of the small group that would faithfully come to Phelps every week, knowing full well that many were already exhausted, both mentally and physically, by the time they walked through our doors. For those who did not attend, it must have seemed like the easier choice to not always get their work done; some were able to skate by, whereas others did not. We are pleased to say, at Phelps, that this fall has been incredible. We have participation numbers like we have never seen before: students are getting off the bus in droves, stomping down the sidewalk and coming in to Phelps smiling, ready to work. We used to peer out the window hoping for just a few kids to get off the bus, now we do a double-take at the large groups coming towards Phelps. These students are being brave and taking charge of their own futures, making those crucial first choices and deciding, whether they realize it or not, that finishing high school is important.

Phelps Aide Phelps Helps is an educational non-profit striving to reduce the elevated drop-out rate in the Stanstead area. Phelps was started in 2012 by two community members, and has grown from a single program to SEVEN unique programs, providing Stanstead area students with free tutoring, educational and career support and hands-on learning from grade 3 to the end of high school and further.

Phelps’ high school sessions are averaging 20 students per evening, and many benefit from one-on-one attention. We therefore are actively seeking new volunteers, specifically on Tuesday afternoons. If you have a couple of hours a month to spare and like helping others, please consider joining our dynamic group of volunteers to contribute to the success of Phelps’ programs! Please email us at info@phelpshelps.ca or call our offices at 819-704-0799.

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Phelps' graduate support program

As you may have heard, Phelps Aide Phelps Helps has a new program; the Graduate Support Program. This program is designed for Stanstead area youth, individuals aged 16-35, to assist with employability and post-secondary education.

 

Whether you are still in high school, recently graduated, or looking to go back to school, our coordinator can help you along the way. One-on-one appointments can be made with the coordinator todevelop a pragmatic action plan geared towards personal and professional success, based on your interests and aspirations. Help with applications to post-secondary options and financial support are among many of the possibilities with this new program.

 

Moreover, our coordinator can support you in finding employment by identifying job openings. She is in contact with various employers and keeps up to date on the hiring companies in the Stanstead area. Assistance with job applications, CVs, cover letters, and preparing for job interviews are also offered by this program.

 

Over the past week, our coordinator has compiled a list of all scholarships and bursaries available to youth in the Stanstead area. This list is lengthy and has scholarships and bursaries available to students at all levels of education (even high school!). Contact us if you are currently a student and would like to take advantage of these opportunities.

 

For more information about Phelps, the Graduate Support Program, or to make a donation, please visit www.phelpshelps.ca. To participate in our programs or to become a volunteer, please email us at info@phelpshelps.ca or call our offices at 819-704-0799.

 

 

We will be hosting an Open House on September 28th at 5:00 p.m. at 272 rue Dufferin. Parents, students and members of the community are invited to meet with the staff and volunteers and learn more about all of Phelps’ programs.

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A GREAT START TO THE SCHOOL YEAR!

Phelps Aide Phelps Helps is an educational non-profit striving to reduce the elevated drop-out rate in the Stanstead area. Phelps was started in 2012 by two community members, and has grown from a single program to SEVEN unique programs, providing Stanstead area students with free tutoring, educational and career support and hands-on learning from grade 3 to the end of high school and further.

 

Phelps’ four weekly programs have started and they are as popular as ever. 15 students walked through the door for the first High School Tutoring Program session of the year, ranging in age from 12 to 17 and with homework just as varied. With a massive plater of watermelon providing some brain fuel after the long bus ride, students were paired with volunteer tutors and set right to work tackling Math, History, English and Science. It is great to see new and familiar faces at Phelps being proactive and persevering at school.

 

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Sessions starting this week!

Phelps Aide Phelps Helps is an educational non-profit striving to reduce the elevated drop-out rate in the Stanstead area. Phelps was started in 2012 by two community members, and has grown from a single program to SEVEN unique programs, providing Stanstead area students with free tutoring, educational and career support and hands-on learning from grade 3 to the end of high school and further. 

 

Phelps’ weekly after-school sessions begin September 12th this year and we are looking forward to seeing new and familiar faces alike. This year, Phelps will be open THREE evenings a week for high school students, providing a quiet and welcoming environment to study and get help in any subject. Our High School Tutoring Program will continue to be offered on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4:30-6:00 p.m. and our new program, Phelps en français, which provides tutoring in a French learning environment, will be on Wednesdays from 4:30-6:00 p.m. Both Galt and La Ruche students are welcome to attend any of the three evenings and can get off the bus directly at our location, 272 rue Dufferin in Stanstead. Phelps’ popular elementary programs at Sunnyside will be continuing as usual this year from 2:30-4:00 p.m. with the Elementary Homework Program for grades 5&6 on Tuesdays and the Elementary Educational Program on Thursdays for grades 3-6.

 

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