Win 4 Kids Finalist- Surrey School District
Surrey School District’s Sticks and Stars program addresses the unique needs of at-risk grade 4-7 boys who were not engaged in school or in organized sports or community-based activities. They demonstrated negative behavior and interest in gang related lifestyle. More than 100 boys participate each year.
Sticks and Stars provides 3-hour long weekend sessions through the year along with a one-week spring break intensive “camp” at each site. Sticks and Stars offer boys positive professional instruction in three areas: STEM based educational workshops (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math); hockey, health and fitness training; and leadership training.
Most program days include instruction in all three areas with a short snack and breaks included. Field trips are offered throughout the program to bring learning to life, to give boys important hands on experiences outside of their neighbourhoods which many have never ventured outside of, and to give participants a sense of the world and opportunities around them.
The total program is 60 hours per school year where 45 per cent of the program is dedicated to sport and fitness training and the boys are physically active throughout this time.
“Many students in Sticks and Stars do not have opportunities outside of school to develop leadership skills, relationships or enjoy activities. Sticks and Stars gives them an important escape from their daily challenges. Students look forward to attending Sticks and Stars and consider it a privilege,” said the Principal at Cougar Creek Elementary.
The Surrey School District is looking to expand the program from 4 to 6 schools. Surrey is BC’s largest school district and 32 of 124 schools are designated inner city where low average incomes, high ESL, high single parent family rates and low standardized test scores challenge staff daily. Funds from Win 4 Kids would be used to expand Sticks and Stars to two additional schools in critical need of support.
“Sticks & Stars has changed the perceptions, future goals and aspirations of boys quickly at our inner city school. Our boys spoke at an end-of-year assembly and shared what they wanted to be when they grew up. Several expressed interest in becoming a hockey coach “like coach Craig”, while others could now see themselves continuing studies in science while others could now envision a future in business or running programs. The change in goals and their ability to express these with confidence and excitement was truly transformational and attained in a short amount of time, all due to the structure, opportunities and people involved with Sticks & Stars.
Sticks & Stars has been a combined effort of many: HR McMillan Space Centre, SFU Applied Science, Pacific Titans Hockey, the Surrey School District, the participating schools and staff, the parents, the boys and our funders. The program’s success is based in the coming together of these diverse groups around a common goal: to support and change the lives of boys at risk in our communities. We hope to expand the reach of Sticks and Stars by becoming a winner of the Win 4 Kids GoodLife Kids Foundation contest. Your vote will have a real and immediate impact on boys at our schools, and give them the gift of a pathway to future success.”
– Kate McMillan, Principal WE Kinvig.
"I really like the hockey program because I learned how to improve my stick handling skills and how to play defense effectively."
- Raivel, student