Go Beyond

Join Raising the Grade, an educational program of Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada. In our Raising the Grade technology centres, we will help you discover your interests, shape your career goals, and plan for your future.

Tell me more
Visit the Community Site
or find out how to join!
Tell me more
Hangin' out at East Scarborough BGC

Get Help.

You will be matched with a mentor or volunteer
who will help you to:

  • Discover your own interests
  • Figure out what kind of a career you might like
  • Choose the right high school courses to reach your
    chosen career
  • Study for your courses and work on your homework
  • Fill out applications to colleges and scholarships
    when you are ready
More youth having fun

Get Online.

The Raising the Grade website gives you access to many links and tools to help you explore your interests.

If you are a program participant, the community site will also assist you in learning about the kinds of careers that match what you already love to do or what you may discover you love to do through the program.

The Raising the Grade technology centre provides you with a designated room containing computers, high-speed Internet access, hardware and software to best support your learning and interests.

More youth having fun
At Toronto Kiwanis RRTG Technology Centre

Get Ahead.

Participating in Rogers Raising the Grade will help prepare you with skills to make the transition from high school to Post-Secondary Education. The unique experiences that you’ll get in the program will strengthen your confidence in yourself to succeed. Bring on life after high school! You’ve got this!

Enroll Today!

February 7, 2014

On February 10, Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada will launch the BGCC Badgecentre (badgecentre.ca), an interactive online space where users can demonstrate learning, skills and achievements by using Mozilla’s Open Badges platform. RRTG youth will get the chance to claim, organize and start sharing their badges!

Through a partnership with George Brown College, the first series of eight badges will include three distinct badges focused on preparation for post-secondary education. With topics such as money management, coping with stress and defining learning styles, each badge earner will create an Open Badges “backpack” that will allow them to share their learning achievements with peers, employers and post-secondary institutions via the web and social media platforms. This partnership between BGCC and George Brown College shows the benefits of youth-serving organizations working collaboratively to create innovative and engaging ways to prepare youth for 21st century education, skills and employment.  We look forward to expanding our badge offering through similar collaborations in the near future.

So what exactly is a badge?

According to Mozilla, a badge is a symbol or indicator of an accomplishment, skill, competency, or interest. Badges can be used to represent achievements, communicate successes, and set goals. They can support learning that happens beyond traditional classrooms. A wide range of organizations and individuals design and issue badges for learners of all ages. By providing a more complete picture of what learners are capable of and passionate about, badges act as signals to potential employers, collaborators, fellow students, and social groups.

What can badges do?

Badges can:

  • Illustrate wide sets of skills and achievements;
  • Provide concrete evidence and proof of skills, achievements, and interests;
  • Help unlock new career and learning opportunities.

Why do we need badges?

Learning today happens anywhere and everywhere. Opportunities for personal growth have expanded to include social, informal, participatory, and creative contexts. Even with these increased opportunities for learning, there’s still an essential piece missing. We need formal recognition for these newly earned and hard-won competencies and skills. One solution is a badge ecosystem that can help bridge this gap. It provides occasions for learners to demonstrate their learnings and proficiencies with earned personal badge collections.

What are the benefits of badges?

Badges can:

  • Signal achievement to peers, potential employers, collaborators, educational institutions, and others.
  • Recognize informal learning and provide recognition and credit for learning that happens outside the classroom.
  • Transfer learning across spaces and contexts to increase portability across jobs and learning environments.
  • Capture more specific skills than traditional degrees by allowing for more granular recognition.
  • Provide a more complete picture of the learner.
  • Support greater specialization and innovation across specialized and emerging fields.
  • Allow greater diversity by acknowledging the importance of soft skills, social habits, and motivation.
  • Motivate participation and improved learning outcomes by offering feedback, milestones, and rewards throughout a course or learning experience.
  • Allow multiple pathways to learning and encourage focus on the development of specific skills.
  • Unlock privileges such as requiring students at a school computer lab to earn a “Digital Safety” badge before being allowed to surf the Web.
  • Enhance identity and reputation, raising profiles within learning communities and among peers by aggregating identities across other communities.
  • Community badges help formalize camaraderie, team synthesis, and communities of practice.
  • Capture the learning path and history in ways that are more reflective of knowledge gained than degrees or cumulative grades.
  • Recognize new skills and literacies that are critical to success in today’s digital world, such as appropriating information, judging its quality, prioritizing, and networking.

(Source: Mozilla Open Badges, http://www.openbadges.org/about/, 2013)

BGCC is delighted to offer our first badge series to both club members and the general public. Over the coming months, we’ll add more and more badges and we’ll gather feedback to improve the site as the content evolves. With help from users, we’ll work hard to make the BGCC Badgecentre an exciting destination for online learning, exploration and demonstrating personal achievement.

For more information, please visit
http://www.badgecentre.ca

http://www.openbadges.org/about/

Twitter: @raisingthegrade, @BGCCAN, @openbadges


 

 

January 27, 2014


Ivy enjoyed the magic of the Cinderella Castle with 15 other Boys and Girls Club teens.

 

Walt Disney World trip a magical surprise for Club teens

She didn’t have a fairy godmother waving a stick, singing “bibbidi-bobbidi-boo,” and there was no pumpkin transformed into an elegant coach.  Instead, the magic words that launched Ivy’s fairy tale adventure were uttered by a Club coordinator from Boys and Girls Clubs of South Coast BC.

“He just called me into his office and said, ‘Do you want to go to Orlando?’ and I said, ‘Yeah, I do!’” 

Ivy is one of 16 Rogers Raising the Grade teens from Boys and Girls Clubs in British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario, and Quebec who traveled to Walt Disney World on December 3. This one-of-a-kind experience was made possible by WestJet, through their WestJet Cares for Kids program, as well as by Walt Disney World Resorts (Canada).

Ivy is a long-time member of Boys and Girls Clubs of South Coast BC and recognized for her contributions to the Club as well as her hard work in Rogers Raising the Grade.  Boys and Girls Club youth flew to Florida on the inaugural flight of WestJet’s brightly painted Disney-themed 737.  The scene painted on the Magic Plane—fireworks over the Cinderella Castle—was a bit like the scene that played out in real life for Ivy later on in Orlando.

The Grade 9 student celebrated her 14th birthday with the other teens during their visit to the Walt Disney World Clubhouse of Boys and Girls Clubs of Central Florida. “We made Christmas ornaments to give back to the Club volunteers, and then we had pizza and cake.”  After blowing out the candles on the birthday cake, “we went out to see the fireworks and that was so exciting,” Ivy says. “That was the best part of the whole trip for me—the fireworks and the cake.”

Boys and Girls Clubs staff chaperoned the teens throughout the four-day outing, along with a number of WestJetters who volunteered their time to accompany them. The teens participated in pay-it-forward activities, teambuilding and leadership development when they weren’t simply being kids at Walt Disney World.

Ivy has been a member of her Boys and Girls Club since she was in Grade 2. “And I’m proud of it,” she says, adding that she expects to keep being a member until she graduates from high school.  She likes the opportunities the Boys and Girls Club offers. The trip to Walt Disney World was an extra special surprise, made even better by experiencing it with Club teens from other parts of Canada. 

“It was really fun to meet the other kids,” Ivy says. “I think I was the youngest of the group and made friends with people from Ontario and other places.”  As Cinderella’s Fairy Godmother would say, “You just put them together and what have you got? Bibbidi-bobbidi bibbidi-bobbidi bibbidi-bobbidi-boo!”

October 15, 2013

The summer has faded into distant memory but Rogers Raising the Grade has returned and we’re off to a fantastic start!

September 25th was a wonderful celebration of Rogers Youth Education Day. So many of our youth got a chance to experience the excitement of behind-the-scenes action while scoping out some career possibilities in media.

We’re thrilled to announce that eight more Clubs are now delivering Rogers Raising the Grade. The program is now up and running at Boys and Girls Club of Kamloops, Boys and Girls Club of Saskatoon, Boys and Girls Club of West Scarborough, Boys and Girls Club of Niagara Falls, Boys and Girls Club of Kawartha Lakes, Boys and Girls Club of Ottawa—McCann Clubhouse, Boys and Girls Club of LaSalle, and Boys and Girls Club of Truro and Colchester. There are now a total of 36 communities supporting the academic goals and career aspirations of youth through the program.

This year, we want to focus on supporting our mentors—generous volunteers who commit to helping out throughout the school year. We’re implementing a new mentoring strategy with feedback from our mentors every step of the way.

We are also working to strengthen digital learning with more webinars and virtual workshops for every Club so that each one can access cutting-edge know-how. Our brand new RRTG Activity Guide enhances our week-to-week program offering and helps participants build on key competencies while having fun.

Next month, we will release our Year One Evaluation Report. Now that we know what it takes to improve the program, we’re ready to make RRTG even better.

We wish everyone a productive and amazing Year Two!