Bill Rees YMCA - Education Supports

The YMCA educational supports programs include Alternative Suspension, Book Club, Project LEAP and Youth Transitions Program.

Alternative Suspension

Funded by the United Way of the Alberta Capital Region, the YMCA of Northern Alberta, and other community partners.

A useful resource for public or catholic junior and high schools, is for temporarily suspended students as referred from school to the YMCA.

Project Purpose and Scope The Alternative Suspension program has been designed as an out-of-school intervention, which establishes bonds of trust and creates a support network of groups of students that assists them in addressing suspension and/or temporary expulsion issues while supporting a consistent and strong academic focus. The initiative is intended to successfully reintegrate suspended and/or temporary expelled students back into the classroom, as well as to address, at the same time, other behavioural difficulties (such as exhibiting aggressive, impulsive, disruptive, and antisocial behaviours, having delinquent peers or poor parental supervision) that place these youth at risk of delinquency.

Research has well established that systematic expulsions from school are highly related to both dropping out of school and subsequent delinquency. In effect, youth who are systematically expelled (i.e., numerous times in a given school year) are known to also present with other conditions that are related to crime, including school bullying.

Alternative Suspension has been shown to be a successful tool given that individual components of the intervention have been evaluated and proven effective in a range of contexts. The program promotes personal development and independence through educational activities and appropriate interventions, as are required, depending on the nature of the particular problems the youth experiences.

  • Personalized action plans.
  • Personal management tools.
  • Lists of personal and educational resources.
  • Complete reintegration to school strategy.

The project will address the following risk factors: disruptive social conduct, lack of educational commitment, academic difficulties, negative attitudes and values among the target population in relation to school, association with deviant peers resulting from lack of supervision during suspension and expulsion, anti-social behaviour related to self-esteem and lack of parental involvement in their child’s education.

Key Activities

  • Student referrals to the program to be administered by school authorities.
  • Individual assessment of participating youth.
  • Personalized profile of participating youth drafted by youth worker.
  • Intervention sessions lasting an average of 5 days (minimum of 3 days, maximum of 15 days).
  • Mornings entailing focus on academic achievement and afternoon sessions on thematic workshops aimed at reducing identified risk factors.
  • Recreational activities.
  • Reintegration of student back into the school/community and follow up to determines the impact of the Alternative Suspension program.
  • Regular communication with parents.

Project Results and Expected Measurable Outcomes:

Short term

  • Create awareness of problematic behaviour among at-risk youth.
  • Develop self esteem and respect.
  • Improve academic performance and motivation levels.
  • Expand network of social support for youth.
  • Decrease participants associations with delinquent peers.

Medium term

  • Decrease aggressive, impulsive, disruptive and antisocial behaviour in participants.
  • Encourage academic aspirations and motivations.
  • Decrease in-school suspension by reducing tardiness, absenteeism, and drug and alcohol usage and violence towards other youth.
  • Increase the rate of school year achievement.

Long term

  • Decrease in school drop outs
For more information about the Alternative Suspension program click here to download the Program Information Sheet           
Castle Downs Family YMCA
11510 153 Ave
780 377-3724
William Lutsky Family YMCA
1975 111 St
780 437-8494

Michael Peters, Senior Director

Project LEAP

Does your child need help with reading, writing and comprehension?

Project L.E.A.P. (Literacy, Education And Play) is a skills-based literacy program for grade 4, 5 and 6 students aimed at providing literacy support and positively increasing attitudes towards reading. The program will focus on basic reading, writing and comprehension skills.  A variety of reading materials and skill-based activities will be used to improve reading competence and confidence in a safe, caring and fun atmosphere.

Our 8-week program progressively introduces participants to a specific literacy skill each week.

Your child will be taught the fundamentals of:
•    Grammar and punctuation
•    Sentence structure
•    Paragraph structure
•    Writing with purpose
•    Reading with fluency
•    Identifying main ideas

For dates and more information, click here.

How to reach us
For general information or referrals contact a youth advisor at:

Bill Rees YMCA
10211  105 Street
Edmonton AB    T5J 1E3
Phone: 780 429-9622
Fax: 780 425-9380

Christine Matheson, Program Supervisor

(780) 429-9622
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