RSGC and Lord Dufferin have had a long-standing relationship, with our boys regularly visiting the children at the public school for Right to Play and Reading Buddies. With in-person visits suspended because of COVID, we have still found a way to bring smiles to faces thanks to virtual Reading and Math Buddies twice a week.
Grade 2/3 teacher Elizabeth Baltazar is thrilled that the volunteer program is able to continue.
“I’m so very grateful that we’ve been able to maintain some kind of pre=covid normality and socialization with my students. I see my students’ reaction on Tuesdays and Fridays and they get so excited, just like they used to when the Georgians would come here in person. They enjoy listening to the stories, playing the games and moving around, and shouting out the math answers,” said Ms. Baltazar. “It’s really important for them to be able to safely connect with as many human faces other than mine, as much as possible. I am so grateful to have all of those faces in my classroom twice a week.”
In a time when cohorts are tight and people aren’t able to spend time together, this virtual connection is especially important.
“Your boys are giving my kids quality time – happy, smiling faces. They may not realize it, but it really feels special to have people who want to spend time with us during a pandemic,” said Ms. Baltazar. “It’s really heartwarming to see the positive connection and have the kids spend some time with people who really care about them.”
Kaden Bhalwani, Grade 8, was a Right to Play regular last year and has taken part in some virtual Reading Buddies sessions despite no longer needing community service hours.
“Obviously it’s really different virtually, but it’s still fun to interact with the kids and see them celebrate every time we finish a book,” said Kaden. “I love seeing how happy they are and I know it makes an impact on them.”
Royal St. George's College is an independent school for boys located in The Annex neighbourhood of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The school admits boys from Grades 3 through 12. Our mission is to challenge and inspire each of our students to become the best version of himself.