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In 2021, at the five-year mark of ABACUS, Hamilton Community Foundation conducted a comprehensive review that provided insights for refinements to help ABACUS best meet community needs. In particular, the evidence showed the need for an increased focus on the transition to high school, reading acquisition and numeracy before the middle-school years, the importance of children’s overall social and emotional wellness to their academic achievement, and the critical importance of addressing the needs of students historically underserved in the education system.

Based on this evidence, the Foundation launched ABACUS Phase II in spring 2022, which further focuses our grants and systems change work. Phase II includes two granting streams:

ABACUS Liftoff! which supports students transitioning into middle school (Grades 4 and 5) with a particular focus on addressing learning interruptions arising from the pandemic.

ABACUS+ which supports the transition out of the middle-school years and into high school, including Grade 9 and the transition into and through Grade 10.

In summer 2022, grants totalling $2,120,934 were distributed from these two streams:

ABACUS Liftoff!

NameProgramAmount
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Hamilton & BurlingtonThe Homework Club is an after-school mentoring program that provides students with  academic, social and/or emotional support.$20,000
Elliott Heights Baptist ChurchExpands the Larch After School Program to Grades 4 and 5. This program encourages and enhances the healthy development of children; academically, by providing customized support, and socially, by helping children deal with everyday life issues.$10,000
Hamilton East Kiwanis Boys’ and Girls’ ClubPower UP! is a literacy-focused program that helps to develop a lifelong love for reading, writing and creativity.$20,000
Learning Disabilities Association of HaltonMastering Mathematics is a program designed to help children with learning disabilities fill essential numeracy skill gaps, gain confidence, and shift their mindset towards mathematics so that they can achieve academic success.$24,815
Mathstronauts
(Fiscal sponsor: McMaster University)
Improving Numeracy Skills is an eight-week extracurricular program designed to help improve numeracy through hands-on activities.$25,000
Niwasa Kendaaswin TegThe Gizhaanaawaat project will support Indigenous students to improve literacy and numeracy skills through a wholistic culturally safe approach to learning via Indigenous pedagogy.  $25,000
*All grants were fully funded from the Russell I. Elman Fund.

ABACUS+

NameProgram  Amount
Art Gallery of HamiltonAGH: In-Class works with the Hamilton Wentworth Catholic District School Board to improve learning engagement, academic achievement, and pro-social skills development among children and youth through arts-based activities delivered targeted to their diverse needs.$60,000
Art Gallery of HamiltonAGH In-Class works with the Hamilton Wentworth District School Board to improve learning engagement, academic achievement, and pro-social skills development among children and youth through arts-based activities delivered targeted to their diverse needs.$100,000
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Hamilton & Burlington  The Homework Club is an after-school mentoring program for elementary-aged students. High-school students mentor participants,  offering academic, social and/or emotional support.$30,000
Hamilton East Kiwanis Boys’ and Girls’ ClubThe Grad Club engages students toward academic success and overall wellness through the transition to and through high school. It uses a strength-based approach that values young people, families, and community to equip youth with skills, resources, and confidence.$97,350
Compass Community HealthThe PATH Program supports youth in north and central Hamilton to gain the knowledge and experiences they need to successfully transition from elementary to secondary school so they can thrive in high school and pursue a pathway towards post-secondary education.$130,000
Elliott Heights Baptist Church*  Larch After-School Program encourages and enhances the healthy development of children; academically, by providing customized support, and socially, by helping children deal with everyday life issues.$40,261
Empowerment Squared*The Academic Mentoring Program provides middle-school students, particularly newcomer and marginalized youth, with mentoring and tutoring supports for academic success and access to post-secondary education.$110,000
Eva Rothwell CentreStimulate the Brain! is a new free tutoring program for children in Grades 6, 7, and 8 that focuses on literacy, numeracy, and STEM. It aims to alleviate learning loss experienced as a result of educational disruptions during the COVID-19 pandemic.$15,000
Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School BoardThe Hamilton YouPoets Artist Residency Program is a collaboration between HWCSB teachers (and “HYP” artist educators (HYP), to  help students prepare for each school’s participation in HYP’s annual spoken word festival.$50,000
Industry Education Council of Hamilton  The Career Development Animation Program will provide experiential learning opportunities for youth living in high-priority neighborhoods.$60,000
The John Howard Society  ACHIEVES (Achieving Community and Hope in Every Student) serves students in Grades 6 to 10 who experience barriers to academic success. It  provides cognitive/social/emotional skills development, recreation, and post- secondary and career exploration.$100,000
Learning Disabilities Association of Halton  SOAR (Some Assembly Required) Transition Skills program supports students with learning disabilities (LDs) in Grades 6-8 to prepare for the transition to high school.$52,296
Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board  The LEAD Successful Transitions & Mentoring Project will engage students in a series of positive health promotion activities, workshops and events, complemented by academic extensions and tutoring. The program will encourage successful living and learning skills development by establishing mentoring connections and a culminating transition event.$110,000
Mathstronauts (Fiscal sponsor: McMaster University)  STEAM Engine is a weekly co-curricular program for middle-school students from under-represented groups to develop and enhance digital literacy through hands-on STEM projects.$129,800
McMaster UniversityMcMaster Children and Youth University: Craft your own journeyis a digital and in-person pilot project at Bernie Custis Secondary School to support Grade 8 students) transition into Grade 9.$75,000
Mission Services of HamiltonThe 196 is a youth-driven after-school program providing educational and wellness supports in a fun, fit, and healthy way to middle-school students in the Gibson-Landsdale neighborhood.$100,000
Munar Learning Centre (Fiscal sponsor: Empowerment Squared)  Stepping Stones to Academic and Social Success supports Somali refugee youth by addressing academic gaps with tutoring and mentoring to allow smooth transitions from the middle-school to high school.$100,000
Niwasa Kendaaswin Teg*  NYA:WEH engages and supports First Nation, Métis and Inuit middle-school students in and their families in the Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board with wholistic programming within an inclusive Indigenous educational framework, helping them to transition to secondary school and explore pathways to post-secondary education.$130,000
Niwasa Kendaaswin Teg*  NYA:WEH  engages and supports First Nation, Métis and Inuit middle-school students in and their families in the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board with wholistic programming within an inclusive Indigenous educational framework, helping them to transition to secondary school and explore pathways to post-secondary education.$260,000
Rafiki Hamilton (Fiscal sponsor: Hamilton Centre for Civic Inclusion)EDUC_ACTION is a program for Georges P Vanier students providing tailored academic tutoring, mental health, and well-being supports for francophone students in grades 7 and 8, with mentorship from Grades 11 and 12 students, and professional tutors.$41,245
Rotary Club of Hamilton Sunshine Fund  The CORE Kids Leaders in Action Program is a series of afterschool activities where middle-school students have opportunities to gain new skills and experiences to grow in mind and body.$50,000
Toronto Metropolitan UniversityEducation Pathway Planning will increase the knowledge, skills, and confidence of marginalized students to access post-secondary pathways.$52,690
YWCA HamiltonThe YWeLEAP Program combines successful approaches to engaging underserved/at-risk middle- school and early high school students identifying as girls or nonbinary/genderfluid people. Peer check-ins, workshops and drop-in space increase belonging, life skills, and academic success.$102,477
*Proactive grant

Additional support provided by The Alice Jean Ainsworth Memorial Fund, Russell I. Elman Fund, The Angel Fund, Fengate Recreation Fund, Hogarth Family Pioneer Energy Fund, James Walker Culhane Trust Fund and Edward & Gladys Halloran Memorial Fund.