Building Resilient Community
by Connecting People
Children and Youth Programs
Learning & Fun (LAF) After School Program
Learning and Fun (LAF) is a free after school program for children in grades 1-8 from Bennetto Public School and St. Lawrence Catholic Elementary School. Kids receive one-on-one and small group homework help, and participate in educational games and social activities. Running from 3:15 to 5 pm Monday to Friday, each afternoon begins with a shared meal. The children participate in the Kids Can Spend, Save, Share financial literacy curriculum and earn an allowance each week as they learn about money and increase their financial literacy skills.
Every student in LAF is carefully matched to a volunteer mentor from McMaster University or the local community to receive one-on-one mentoring and homework assistance. Mentors are not only positive role models, but also “Nurturers of Possibilities” in the lives of our students. The mentors receive ongoing training in their role and are equipped to creatively meet the children where they are academically and socially.
The LAF program not only allows students to access extra help to promote academic success, focusing particularly on math and language skill development, but it allows for an inclusive community where everyone feels welcome. Parents, teachers and school principals, all indicate to us that LAF is an integral part of building resiliency in this community and is helping children to feel more confident about themselves and the pursuit of education.
LAF is a cooperative effort of Welcome Inn Community Centre, St. Lawrence Catholic Elementary School, Bennetto Public School, and Student Open Circles‘ Community Volunteer Action program at McMaster University. LAF is made possible by the generous support of World Vision, Canadian Programs, United Way of Burlington and Greater Hamilton, B&T Steel, and the individual donors and groups who support the work of Welcome Inn Community Centre.
Kids Financial Literacy
The Kids Can Spend, Save, & Share curriculum was specifically designed for LAF program participants. Each day at LAF the children work on financial literacy work with their mentor – either as a group or one on one. What makes this program special is that the kids are able to learn a real allowance – and then practice putting their lessons into use by choosing what they wish to do with that money. Will I spend it on chips? Will I save it? Will I share it with another charity or friend? If they choose to save, we match it dollar for dollar. Learning how to have a positive, pro-active relationship with money is an important step to healthy financial choices in the future.
Once a week every evening youth gather to hang out, share a healthy meal and participate in activities they select together. Programming includes life skills training, financial literacy education, community service and social activities.
Summer Day Camp
Welcome Inn Summer Day Camp happens every July with themes for each week. There is space for 35 children aged 4-11. Applications are available in March of each year and can be obtained by calling Welcome Inn.