Teen Volunteers at Salvation Army After-School Program

Jamie-Lynn (left) cuts cucumber with after-school participant
by Linda Leigh
Categories: Volunteer Stories
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Jamie-Lynn started attending an after-school program at The Salvation Army in Kingston, Ont., when she was seven-years-old. Today, the 14-year-old volunteers at the same place where she learned how to read and write.

“After I learned how to read, write and do math, I passed school with flying colours,” says Jamie-Lynn. “I love it here.”

As a volunteer, Jamie-Lynn assists with anything from helping younger children do crafts to teaching others how to safely cut vegetables to helping with clean-up.

“It’s fun and I like hanging out with the kids and teaching them,” says Jamie-Lynn. “And I’m learning how to be patient.”

Anyone is welcome to attend the program, but most participants are from low-income households.

“We are in a rough area of town, which makes the after-school program important,” says Caitlin Marshall, Program Coordinator. “If kids aren’t here, they are out on the streets often surrounded by bad influences. Coming here is a safe place where they can play, learn and have a nutritious meal. I’ve seen a number of kids grow substantially and benefit from the program.”

The after-school program provides a safe and educational program centred around fitness and education. Other aspects of the program include sports, art and music, personal wellness and homework assistance.

“If I wasn’t volunteering here, I’d probably be staying at home watching TV and being bored,” says Jamie-Lynn. ”Volunteering is a good growth experience.”

With your support, The Salvation Army can ensure even more children benefit from after-school programs.