Power Hour was designed to meet the educational needs of youth in our afterschool program from October 2018 - June 2019. This program worked to develop and enhance the Literacy and Essential Skills (LES) of youth ages 10-14. Power Hour was developed and delivered by a qualified teacher and support staff who worked to create individualized learning goals for each participant while also fostering teamwork and shared learning through engaging group activities. Power Hour aimed to take a proactive approach to supporting youth who were enrolled in or approaching their Junior High school years, aiding them in working independently as well as in groups, fostering self-sufficiency and confidence and increasing the overall likelihood of academic and social success.
Activities and Outcomes
Power Hour broadened the scope of our Club’s LES programming with short term outcomes for youth such as increased confidence, the development of relevant skills, as well as ownership and agency in programming. The experiential learning youth encountered in this program will lead to mid and long-term outcomes where youth have key literacy and essential skills they need to achieve their goals and become successful adults.
Over the course of this program we saw great success both academically and socially. Program participants worked on a broad range of literacy and essential skills development through independent and group activities. Most notably, program staff observed a significant increase in active youth engagement and participation (which is a major success in and of itself). As a direct result of this increased engagement, participants sought out leadership development opportunities such as signing up for cleaning and cooking tasks at the Club as well as opportunities to participate in community events such as the Frank J MacAulay park cleanup. These successes can be attributed to our Education Coordinator, who developed and implemented creative and innovative activities designed to foster skills development while also giving youth agency in the process. Some examples of program activities include:
The Egg Drop – A small group activity that helped youth understand the mathematical principles of force and friction while encouraging participants to work together to use using their critical thinking and problem-solving skills to design a protective casing that would help their egg survive the 10-foot drop.
School Assignments - Participants received one-to-one support to research and complete school assignments such as Heritage Fair projects and homework.
Book Buddies - Mentorship was also incorporated in shared learning activities whereby participants engaged younger Club members to develop literacy skills through our Book Buddies program.
Boys Council and Girls Circle – This sub-program, developed by the Women’s Network of PEI, was integrated into Power Hour to meet the social and emotional learning needs of the participants. Each group met once weekly to actively cultivate a safe and supportive space to explore and discuss relevant issues such as mental health and well-being, bullying, social media, making healthy choices and setting healthy boundaries.
Digital Literacy and Research – Program participants were encouraged to bring forward topics for digital research (using Chrome Books and internet access). Participants then created art to present their findings. Some of these topics included Physiology and Anatomy and Space Exploration.
“Dot–mocracy” – Used as a tool to teach civic literacy, the “dot-mocracy” process allowed participants to brainstorm ideas for group activities and research projects. These ideas were then discussed at the group level and posted in the classroom. Participants were then given dot shaped stickers and allowed a “vote” whereby they placed their sticker next to the topic they wanted to learn more about. Some of the topics that won the vote were cooking/baking, gardening and science experiments.
Haunted Halloween Club – Program participants took the lead to develop, organize and host our annual Halloween party for all Club members. Youth worked in small groups to design themed activities which they then facilitated with younger Club members. Participants were given the opportunity to learn about financial literacy as they had to work within a fixed budget to procure resources for each planned activity.
A total of 18 youth participated directly in weekly Power Hour programming, while 36 other children and youth benefited from bi-weekly mentorship program activities such as Book Buddies and other group holiday celebrations developed, organized and facilitated by Power Hour participants such as Haunted Halloween Club, Winter Carnival and Easter Eggstravaganza.
In total, each participant received 166 hours of literacy and essential skills development and support through Power Hour between October 2018 – June 2019.
Program staff observed that youth participant progress in Literacy and Essential skills development increased by 68% over the course of the school year. Staff observed participants in areas including reading, writing, numeracy and digital literacy skills as well as problem solving, critical thinking, and working with others.
Program staff observed that participant engagement increase by 90% over the course of the program. Staff observed participants in areas including active participation, willingness to try new activities and commitment to completing program activities and school projects.
Program participants reported an 85% increase in self-confidence relating to their ability to develop and apply new skills and attain personal goals. Surveys measured how confident youth felt about their ability to learn and apply new skills in order to achieve their goals pre, mid and post program.
Program participants reported a 75% increase in academic and social success through program supports and experiential learning. Surveys measured how youth felt about their academic performance and social skills pre, mid and post program.