It was a great experience for me to help the kids to learn the magic tricks. I think it is a great opportunity for the kids because magic also teaches you how to stand up in front of an audience.
— Volunteer/Magic Coach
I feel very happy to have contributed to this great program. It was a great experience to see the kids in their last presentation.
I think the most memorable moment was the presentation of the little magicians. They had the chance to show their coaches and their parents something new and also they learned that it does not matter if something goes wrong there is always someone behind your back to help you.
— Volunteer/Magic Coach
The Learning Enrichment Foundation (LEF) is an outreach organization dedicated to community and economic development. One of their primary outreach groups is newcomers to Canada. LEF focuses on servicing youth that are part of the Immigrant Settlement and Adaptation Program (ISAP) – essentially, newcomers to Canada between the ages of thirteen and twenty-four years. These newcomers are trained as mentors for at-risk children and play the role of “Magic Coach” for My Magic Hands. The at-risk youth participants dropped into the LEF centre after school on a weekly basis and participate in the program.
LEF recognized a wonderful opportunity to empower newcomers to Canada to become volunteers as opposed to being volunteered to. Young adult volunteers, or magic coaches help young magicians (participants) overcome several challenges not only in learning the magic, but also in learning how to face an audience proudly and perform with confidence.
The program’s efforts proved to be a great success. Not only did the LEF magicians put on a spectacular show for friends and families, but they were also invited back to give a second performance during Spring Break. Backed by a Magicana professional magician, the children magicians put on their show for over 130 children ages six to twelve years old. This is a daunting and intimidating task for any professional let alone newcomers to magic! But the children magicians rose to the challenge with grace and finesse and wowed the huge audience.
The show was so well received that the executive director of LEF invited the children to showcase their wares once again, but this time for the LEF’s Annual General Meeting – an audience made of up LEF and community stakeholders. The children put on five mini performance over ninety minutes for over 140 people. Even three months after graduating from My Magic Hands, the children continued to employ wonderful technique and handling – thanks to their dedication and practice. Magic Coaches reprised their role for subsequent performances and helped their magician along, continually raising the bar on execution.
We have since brought the program back to LEF’s new facilities and, once again, were delighted with community support and participation.