UNB Saint John’s Promise Partnership

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UNB Saint John offers a unique opportunity for students to get involved and make a difference in the community.

The Promise Partnership is a co-operation between UNB Saint John and Hazen White St. Francis (HWSF) School that began in 2009.

The program allows university students to mentor children in kindergarten through grade eight for one hour per week. Students help the children excel academically and socially by spending the first forty minutes of the hour on school work (reading, writing and playing educational games) and the remaining twenty on free time. The free time includes participating in a variety of activities offered at the school including games, iPads provided by the program, computer labs and the school gymnasium.

Steven Robar, the Community Engagement Liaison with the Promise Partnership, encourages UNB Saint John students to get involved so that the children “can reach their full potential.”

“We understand students have a hectic schedule and one hour may seem like a lot,” says Robar, “but the impact that UNB Saint John students have on these students is remarkable.”

The Promise Partnership doesn’t stop when the students graduate middle school. UNB Saint John also offers a high school tutoring program for former HWSF students. In addition, they offer the Backyard Book Club, a program that helps children in kindergarten through grade four with their reading ability during the summer.

Candice Gallant, a fourth year Bachelor of Arts student feels that volunteering with the Promise Partnership has been a very rewarding experience for her.

“I have been mentoring the same girl for a couple of years now and she has become like a little sister to me,” says Gallant, “I love watching her improve every week and it feels good to know I have been a positive influence to her.”

The Promise Partnership recruits new volunteers at the beginning of each semester and are always looking for new mentors.

Gallant encourages other students to get involved. “Being a role model to the children is [a reward] in itself,” she says, “the children look forward to seeing their mentor every week and it really feels great helping them by giving one hour a week.”

Any UNB Saint John students interested in getting involved can e-mail promise@unb.ca