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All about LBN’s Math Program

Our math programs have gone through several iterations within the past handful of years. I have seen the program grow from being a couple of massive binders filled with worksheets into a fully developed curriculum with games, reusable worksheets, and a set structure for each session. Deb Collins and Maria Medic, co-chairs of our Program Committee, spent hours making this curriculum and assembling kits for our physical programs in the summer of 2019. Our programs were rolled out successfully across 6 school sites later that year in the fall.

In March 2020, when COVID-19 closed schools in the Lower Mainland, LBN turned to online programming. We quickly designed a condensed online program so our mentor and buddy pairs could continue working together. It was met with overall positive feedback, but mentors requested a more detailed curriculum. Board members and senior volunteers then took our reading program and spent hundreds of hours adapting it for an online setting. These were very successfully piloted in the summer and then implemented officially in the fall. We did the same for our math program and are in the piloting process, with plans to roll out programming in the fall of 2021.

Two of our core staff members, Jennifer An and Ava Daeipour, spent several hours over the school year taking our physical resources and adapting them for an online setting. They were assisted by two UBC student volunteers as part of the CCEL Reading Week Program. Program committee members oversaw the process through bi-weekly meetings. The end product is an entirely online program for our buddies, a two-part intensive training program for our mentors, and accompanying documents - all digitized and stored online.

Highlights of our Math Program include online games for all grade levels, online resources to help with teaching, and a structured lesson plan. Each child that goes through the program will be provided with around 25 sessions of direct instruction from a trained mentor.

These new curriculums have been created to be as similar to our actual in-school programming as possible. One-on-one mentoring has been offered to stay true to our values and continue fostering a love of learning through relationship building. Programs are hosted through Zoom, where mentor and buddy pairs are placed into individual breakout rooms. Groups of mentors and buddies are overseen by two volunteer Coordinators, and a staff member – either a Teacher Liaison or a Program Supervisor. Just like in our in-school programs, volunteer Program Coordinators provide leadership and assist with administrative activities, while our staff provide a higher level of expertise for teaching support and management of behaviour.

Our online programs have proven to be incredibly successful and will be offered as a permanent method of program delivery moving forward. We plan to operate on a hybrid model when we return to in-school programming, where online programs will still be offered to meet the needs of children from schools that are too far away for our team of volunteers to access. Implementation of such a large number of programs has shown us the need for this type of programming and has allowed us to create partnerships with multiple new schools. We will continue to meet the needs of the communities we serve and have plans to expand to new rural and remote communities in the future.

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