The Okanagan Boys and Girls Club Rutland Centre has several new tools in place to level the playing field for those who have limited access to computers.
The club, with the support of the Rogers Youth Fund, unveiled its Rogers Raising the Grade technology centre Tuesday.
Sixteen new computers are now available to be used in an after-school program that allows youth to explore interests, receive homework support, connect with mentors, interact with peers and increase their digital literacy.
“It’s benefitted us in so many ways,” said centre director Tammy Wong.
“It’s allowed us to expand our programs in computers and technology. It’s allowed us to expand our programs to do with the youth—now we have something that’s engaging to them, they’re excited to spend some time at the club.”
Rogers Raising the Grade is a national program delivered by the Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada.
According to Melissa Wozny, Education Manager of Rogers Raising the Grade in Kelowna, the technology itself is only one aspect of the program.
“It’s also the mentorship,” said Wozny.
“They have support of a one-to-one ratio with a mentor to guide them through their academic goals and post-secondary planning.”
Attached to the computer lab is a youth lounge, which Wong said is popular with the kids.
“They can come, have a snack, hang out with their peers and they’re engaged with the technology—that’s what they’re connected to right now.”
She added the program is free and works around the users’ schedules.
The Okanagan Boys and Girls Club in Rutland is looking to enrol more Grade 7 to 12 students in the Rogers Raising the Grade program.
Those who are interested can call the centre at 250-765-3345 for more information.