Assisting Children and Families in Kingston
The Helen Tufts Child Outreach Program (HTCOP) is a three-way partnership between students from Queen’s University, Frontier College, and Sydenham Street United Church.
The HTCOP program assists children, aged 6-12 from disadvantaged families, to develop reading, numeracy and social skills. It transports children to our church building where they meet one on one with their Queen’s student mentor on Monday or Thursday evening. Each of the 50-60 children is matched with the same volunteer Queen’s student for that evening throughout the program year. Much of the time is spent working on reading skills or basic arithmetic, but the emphasis is on the idea that learning is fun. The evening also includes group activities, games, and a healthful snack.
Frontier College staff recruit and train the student volunteers; Queen’s Alma Mater (AMS) provides an annual grant. Our church donates without charge the facilities which are required for the program. Volunteers from our congregation serve as program coordinator, treasurer, family visitor who enrols the children, drivers who transport the children to and from the program, phoners who contact each family every week, and individuals who contribute treats for parties and celebrations throughout the year.
Queen’s students continue to volunteer for the program and to petition for the funds to support it – these students are committed and with them the program continues to be a positive influence on young children.
Updated 2020 10 04