Supporting newcomer children & families

Say Yes! to Kids grant to expand Emmanuel Mission Youth Learning Program

“As we begin to move into pandemic recovery, learning enrichment programs like ours are more important than ever,” says Khamisa Maciek, Administrator for the Emmanuel Mission Youth Learning Program, Winnipeg, in the Diocese of Rupert’s Land.

What began as a summer school outreach ten years ago—serving students from kindergarten to grade nine who are newcomers to Canada—will soon provide year-round learning enrichment that will benefit students and their parents.

Emmanuel Mission received a category B grant of $15,000 through the Anglican Foundation of Canada’s 2021 Say Yes! to Kids program. It was one of eleven category B grants awarded, for a total of $134,000, or nearly 30 percent of the total funding request. “Grants of up to $15,000 were considered on the basis of impact, project scope, and how they supported the overall mission and service to children and youth in a city, diocese, or region,” says Dr. Scott Brubacher, Executive Director, AFC.

The expansion grant for Emmanuel Mission is scheduled to roll out this spring as the program moves to three days per week. It will allow children and their parents to experience learning and working together and with others. Maciek explains that the parent component was identified as a priority because of what staff and volunteers had learned from the summer program.

“Many of the parents of our summer students have not attended school in Canada, and some may not have attended school at all.” The result is that parents are not always aware of the expectations schools have for their children, “Nor are they always aware of the kind of home-based support their children need to be successful within the Canadian school system,” says Maciek.

A year-round focus, with programming offered on weekday evenings and weekends, will give students’ parents an opportunity to meet with the program leaders and other volunteers to learn more about how to support their children’s education. The expansion effort will also include an emphasis on mentoring younger children by involving the growing numbers of young adult university students who are part of the Emmanuel Mission community. “These mentors, some of whom have been involved with this program for a decade, are aware of the challenges the younger students face, because they have faced similar challenges themselves,” says Maciek.

One of the great rewards of Emmanuel Mission’s learning outreach remains the impact on language development. “Students come to us and are so eager to learn, and they pick up vocabulary so quickly,” says Maciek. “I remember one student, in particular: I was working with her on a craft activity. When we started, she couldn’t speak a word of English. Just a few weeks later, she came to me and was speaking English, saying, ‘Khamisa I did it!’”

Behind every grant is a generous gift, thanks to the generosity of Canadian Anglicans, AFC said Yes! to the following Category B grant recipients for the fall 2021 Say Yes! to Kids Request for Proposals:

  • Diocese of the Arctic: On Eagle’s Wings Ecumenical Ministries, Edmonton, Arctic SMiLe Program $10,000
  • Diocese of Eastern Newfoundland & Labrador: Home Again Furniture Bank at Parish of the Ascension, Mount Pearl, Making Dreams Easier— providing beds to children in need $10,000
  • Diocese of Edmonton: Anglican Parish of Christ Church, Edmonton, Diocese of Edmonton Children’s Choir $10,000
  • Diocese of Fredericton: Inner City Youth Ministry, Saint John, Lunch Connections Program $15,000
  • Indigenous Spiritual Ministry of Mishamikoweesh: St. Barnabas Anglican Church, Summer Beaver, Nibinamik First Nation Sunday School $15,000
  • Diocese of New Westminster: St. Alban’s Anglican Church, Burnaby, Youth Program Expansion $10,000
  • Diocese of New Westminster: The Parish of St. Timothy, Burnaby, Connecting with the World Technology Project $10,000
  • Diocese of Niagara 5G Project: 5 ways to share God’s love through technology $9,000
  • Diocese of Nova Scotia & PEI: Community Roots Day Camp $15,000
  • Diocese of Ontario: Morningstar Relief Mission, Greater Napanee, High School Lunch program $10,000

For more information about Say Yes! to Kids 2022 and how your parish, or a youth-focused cause that you care about, can benefit from this nationwide peer-to-peer fundraising campaign visit Say Yes! to Kids – Anglican Foundation of Canada or email Michelle Hauser, AFC’s Development and Communications Consultant at [email protected].