Home Run Scholars
Jays Care Foundation believes in a level playing field where all Canadian children and youth have the opportunity to thrive and succeed. One way we are working to achieve this is through our Home Run Scholars program.
What are the Home Run Scholars programs?
Jays Care's Home Run Scholars programs are specifically designed to enhance educational outcomes. The first Home Run Scholars program that Jays Care launched was in partnership with Pathways to Education in 2007. Pathways has a vision of building a "graduation nation" -- a country where every young person, regardless of socio-economic background, has an equal opportunity to graduate from high school and transition into post-secondary education or training.
Since 2007, Jays Care Foundation has provided over $1 million in financial support to Pathways to Education. This contribution has helped Pathways open 10 additional sites, operate in two new provinces, increase their student reach from 1,000 to more than 4,700 and increase their number of graduates from 459 to more than 3,000.
The Home Run Scholars After-School Program
The Home Run Scholars After-School Program is a dynamic and accessible after-school program. Designed in partnership with Toronto Community Housing Corporation (TCHC) to support marginalized children aged 6 to 14, the program seeks to achieve many significant short- and long-term goals, including:
- Improve academic performance
- Increased grades
- Increased confidence and willingness to seek help with homework
- Improvements in literacy and numeracy
- Enhance physical health
- Increased participation in physical and recreational activities among students
- Enhanced knowledge regarding healthy food choices and food preparation
- Enhance social and emotional well-being
- Enhanced self-confidence and self-efficacy among students
- Increased level of compassion, communication and conflict resolution skills, and a stronger sense of belonging
- Improve student behaviour after school
- Reduced incidences of gang-related activities, theft or complaints from community agencies
- Increased reports of helpfulness within the home and community
What is the Home Run Scholars After-School Program philosophy?
At Jays Care, we believe that after-school programs should provide an opportunity for every child to:
- Work and play with others
- Develop strong and lasting relationships with peers and staff
- Learn new skills and improve upon existing ones
- Learn more about themselves, their abilities, their limitations and their potential
- Learn to be a contributing member of a group and of their community
- Learn about the assets and challenges that exist within their community
- Develop the skills required to recognize obstacles and design solutions to overcome them
- Develop self-confidence and reliance as a leader
What does the Home Run Scholars After-School Program include?
The Home Run Scholars After-School Program is designed to help every child FULFILL THEIR POTENTIAL. Here is how we do it:
Physically active: For optimal health and development, children need to engage in 60 minutes of rigorous physical activity each day. That's why the Home Run Scholars program includes a full hour of sport and recreation activities that are designed to get their bodies moving and their hearts pumping.
Organized structure: The Home Run Scholars program schedule is highly structured so that children, staff, volunteers and guardians know what to expect each week. The monthly schedule is posted on the wall for everyone to see.
Team environment: Developing essential social and emotional skills like compassion, communication and conflict resolution skills takes time and effort. At Home Run Scholars, each day focuses on helping children participate in team-building activities where they are challenged to take on new roles, support each other and nurture and develop these essential skills.
Emotional-Tanks are full: The Home Run Scholars staff are trained to ensure that each child leaves each day becoming more aware of their own limitless potential. They do this by recognizing their strengths and naming them, by celebrating their efforts and by encouraging others to do the same - consciously filling each child's emotional tank.
Nutritious snacks and healthy cooking: Children at Home Run Scholars receive a healthy snack each day of the program. Home Run Scholars nutrition staff work with groups of children to engage them in the snack/meal preparation process. This includes teaching them about the nutritional benefits of various foods as well as affordable and fun ways to prepare them.
Trustworthy, trained and reliable role models: Home Run Scholars staff come from TCHC communities. As such, they can easily relate to many of the life experiences of the children in the program. These staff are selected because they are experienced, reliable and create safe and positive environments for all students. They serve as amazing program leaders as well as exceptional role models for every child in the program.
Inspiring choices: Children thrive when they are exposed to a wide range of activities and when they have the opportunity to make choices that excite them. That's why each day of the Home Run Scholars program includes "choice time" that allows children to use their decision-making skills and enables them to further develop in areas that excite them.
Assessment and improvement: Each Home Run Scholars program is designed to meet the unique needs of each specific TCHC site. In order to ensure this is done effectively, Home Run Scholars staff conduct fun activities at the end of each month to learn what the children like about the program, and how the program can be improved. By doing this, staff ensure that the program is always evolving and that the voices of the children are at the heart of what we do.
Learning: Many children in school fall behind quickly when support with homework isn't available. That's why homework time is an integrated part of the Home Run Scholars after school program. Each day students receive support from their peers and from the staff to complete their required homework and to further nurture their love of learning through fun literacy and numeracy activities.
How can you get involved?
There are many ways to get involved with Home Run Scholars. Here are a few ways to step up to the plate: