The partnership with Magicana has had a transformational impact on our student mentors at Havergal College and student buddies at Lawrence Heights Middle School. The preparation for the “magic show” provided an exceptional opportunity for senior students to mentor grade six students.
— Shauna Lang,
Havergal Community Program Coordinator
I really enjoyed helping my buddy throughout the learning process. When my buddy got the trick and smiled, my heart felt very warm and good because I knew I helped him to succeed.
— Havergal Student Volunteer
In 2007 Magicana developed new program partnerships with Havergal College and Lawrence Heights Middle School through Havergal’s successful after-four program, “The Homework Club”. The Homework Club pairs a high school student with an at-risk, high-needs Grade Six “Buddy” at the beginning of the year. The older students mentor their younger charges over the course of the school year as they work on homework together.
The scholastic benefits to the “buddy” are obvious but the increased community awareness and sensitivity are also highly beneficial for the mentors. Elementary students are also challenged to go beyond the boundaries of what can be a difficult environment.
In the fall of 2007, Magicana brought My Magic Hands to The Homework Club which comprised of twenty-five volunteers from Havergal and twenty-five students from Lawrence Heights. The Havergal volunteers were well supported in their role through an orientation seminar, weekly feedback and coaching notes and through our Volunteer Resources Website.
The results were highly rewarding. All of those involved were pleased with the strong partnership forged and both schools commented on the remarkable impact My Magic Hands had on their student body.
Another encouraging post-program comment was how effective our program was in kick-starting the Homework Club in mid-October. The group activity allowed both the volunteer and student to create strong bonds on a much deeper level than those developed in previous years. We were rewarded to also learn that high school volunteers cited the Magic Hands experience to be one of the most memorable and meaningful part of their school year. Considering we concluded the course in November 2007, the program’s lasting impact and benefits to students six months later is a substantial achievement.
In short, the partnerships, from all perspectives, have been outstanding. Consequently, the program with the one-to-one ratio of magic student to volunteers was highly recommended for a repeat execution and we are delighted to report that it is currently in progress with our partners.