STEP-AHEAD PROGRAM (SAP)
The Step Ahead Program (SAP) was developed in recognition of the fact that newcomer youth who arrive in Ottawa late spring or early summer face a unique set of challenges that can be met by a program that combines recreation, orientation and language instruction. The success of the SAP program is due to the fact that it provides opportunities for these newcomer youth to continue with their language learning and at the same time participate in fun recreational activities and field trips that orient them to their new city. For many of these youth the SAP program may be the only opportunity to be with other newcomer youth, and experience Ottawa with the support and guidance of committed and experienced OCISO staff and volunteers.
The main purpose of the program is to assist new immigrant and refugee students to improve their English language skills, participate in recreational activities such as basketball, volleyball, and leadership games for four weeks during the summer and participate in orientation sessions about their new neighbourhoods and the city of Ottawa.
The program reaches about 100 newcomer youth each summer. The ages of the students who participate are 13 years of age and up and the students are referred to the program from the schools and family reception centres that are attached to the schools. The program staff is comprised of OCISO staff and volunteers and the space is provided by the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board.