Our COVID-19 Response

YEP has always been concerned with the well-being of vulnerable populations. We’ve always prioritized working with isolated seniors, newcomers struggling to learn English, and children and youth with behavioural issues and / or at risk of dropping out of school. This time, another challenge has presented itself. Over the past two weeks, eLearning has become the norm for all students across the country. But for many students in the neighbourhoods we work in, eLearning is simply not possible. Many do not have computers, tablets or smartphones at home. In one school we work with in Regent Park, roughly 50 students live in local shelters.

Our Response:

We helped distribute technology to those in need

We’ve joined hands with a few organizations, led by our wonderful partner The Daniels Corporation, to support these students during this difficult situation. Rogers Communications donated 20 tablets, Beanfield Technologies donated $10,000 to purchase tablets and chromebooks, and we made over a dozen of our own tablets and laptops available for loan to students in and around Regent Park. We’ll all be working together to safely distribute these devices in the coming days.However, while eLearning is the new reality for students, it is important to remember that the jury is still out on its effectiveness. eLearning sites generally do not have a live instructor to confirm that content is understood, or to answer clarifying questions. Studies say that within three days, kids will forget roughly 40% of what they learn. But, at YEP, we know that by getting kids to teach others the things they’re learning, they’ll better retain that knowledge.

We encouraged young people to teach their parents at home, and launched a new training website — www.teachaparent.ca

We’ve launched a new site, Teach a Parent, aimed at keeping kids actively teaching and to alleviate the boredom that their technology-deficient parents are likely experiencing. The site contains 43 illustrated comic panels that guide young people on how to become an effective teacher. It also includes guidance on various topics they can teach parents – such as YouTube / Netflix, connecting with loved-ones via video chat apps, arts & crafts, dance, and more.