Volunteers help participants learn, gain mentorship experience and, most importantly, discover the power of sharing their time.
Host centres recruit and provide Magicana with cleared volunteers. Thereafter, Magicana offers ongoing direction, both in class and through our online support portal, Teaching Tools.
For our program, volunteers take on the role as the “magic coach.” This is a key ingredient to our program’s ongoing success: we want volunteers to have a meaningful placement and we want our program participants to have a positive peer role-model. Volunteers are not expected to teach, but rather to support. Instructors make this very clear from the onset so both the volunteer and participant are relaxed and comfortable from the very start.
We aim for the highest possible ratio of magic coaches to the number of participants. Clearly, the closer we can get to a 1:1 ratio, the better it is for the children’s learning, confidence, and eventual success. Interestingly, volunteers naturally become vested with their participant’s progress and the child also feels that connection of both responsibility and “coach’s pride”. This mentor/role-model relationship underscores and improves life-skills such as working dynamically in groups, empathy and accountability to and for others.
In the past, we have partnered My Magic Hands with peer mentorship programs such as Big Brothers Big Sisters and Havergal College’s “Homework Club”. There, the coaches and participants develop a special bond of trust as they work together on developing and perfecting the magic. The results have been nothing short of magic, demonstrating the power that comes from a community that cares.