EPIC was created in 1996, the brain-child of Barry Waldman.
At that time, Barry was director of Unama’ki Training and Education Centre (TEC), an alternate high school and adult-education facility in Eskasoni First Nation, Nova Scotia. Because he was in daily contact with marginalized learners, he saw not only their individual challenges, but also opportunities lost due to lack of funding for specific programs. He identified the need for a community-based and funded charitable organization that could respond flexibly and quickly to financial and educational initiatives; an organization that could—because of its basis in volunteerism and focus on learners’ needs—fill in gaps between local, provincial and federal governmental agencies. Barry’s solution to all this was to found Educational Program Innovations Charity Society.
EPIC has initiated, adopted, fostered and managed many projects and programs. It has also partnered with other agencies—both community and governmental—to provide community services to learners of all ages in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. To carry out many of these projects, EPIC has frequently been entrusted with funding by departments within both the federal and provincial governments. Private foundations are an increasing source of funding. EPIC is pleased and proud to be receiving substantial financial support from The Law Foundation of Nova Scotia since 2004. Recently, the organization has been the recipient of private donations which are helping to keep its programs running smoothly.
EPIC’s current initiatives
is an after-school peer tutoring and mentoring program, serving the youth of the Cape Breton Regional Municipality for eleven years. In the 9,000 youth-tutor matches that have taken place during these years, students with varying degrees of challenges—from high risk young offenders to elementary kids with learning differences—have benefited educationally, socially, creatively, and emotionally.
Parents PEACE Program
began in 2004 as an adjunct to the Youth Peer program. It is a once a week, on-going educational program for any interested parent at no cost. Led by an experienced facilitator, the parents are treated to frequent guest speakers from community agencies. The parents and facilitator tackle the difficult issues of parenting by using EPIC’s Parents PEACE Framework.
Wrap-around Support and Give Right Back These enrichments to the Youth Peer Program involve targeting special kids for extra attention. The wrap-around program coordinates parents, care-givers, community support workers, police, school personnel and youth peer staff to increase the likelihood of a child’s improvement and ultimate succes. Give Right Back provides kids an opportunity to volunteer to be in service to others, thereby increasing that student’s confidence and self-esteem.
Emotional Maturity Problem-solving & Awareness Targeting Higher Impulse Control
is a partnered project with the Eskasoni First Nation School Board. EMPATHIC is an aboriginally-adapted version of PATHS (Promoting Alternative THinking Strategies), a social-emotional curriculum for elementary-aged students. EPIC’s current and on-going role is to assist the Eskasoni School Board in the advertising and distribution of this valuable curriculum to other aboriginal peoples within Canada.
Each year, the EPIC Board of Directors awards several deserving graduating seniors a scholarship of $500. Specifically, the recipients are distinguished by high school staff for their commitment to community or perseverance in overcoming obstacles to advancement.
Eskasoni Peer Math Tutoring
In the fall of 2007, EPIC began a partnership with the Eskasoni First Nations School Board to bring Youth Peer-style math tutoring to the students of Eskasoni. With funding from the Eskasoni School Board, teacher and former Vice-Principal of Eskasoni High School, Newell Johnson—who has been tutoring students after school on a volunteer basis for several years—will oversee Eskasoni student volunteers as they tutor junior high and high school students in math.
The goal of Eskasoni Elder Safety, which began in January 2009, is to enhance Eskasoni seniors’ safety and well-being, improve police and seniors communication, and promote respect and positive relationships between seniors and youth. To these ends, the project encompasses two initiatives—Youth Giving Back to Elders and Elder Spirit—both of which involve broad community partnerships, supervised activities, and ongoing communication with the RCMP. EPIC is administering this project in partnership with the Eskasoni Elder Committee, Eskasoni High School, Eskasoni School Board, Eskasoni RCMP, and Eskasoni Health Centre and is made possible by funding from the Nova Scotia Department of Seniors.
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You can contact EPIC at email@example.com