Ignite Academy - a ProsperUs solution


Literacy and numeracy are strong predictors of a child’s long-term achievement.

Ignite Academy – the very first Cradle to Career solution to come out of the community consultation process – integrates supports that are proven to impact educational achievement. Supports are standardized across all program sites and service provider partners.

The solution was co-designed by neighbourhood residents with lived experience, front-line service providers, researchers, and other content experts.

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Where we’re at now

Across priority neighbourhoods, 36% of children were below provincial standard in both reading and writing and 58% of children were behind in math (prior to the pandemic).

Our Solution

Ignite Academy will offer out-of-school programming four days a week to help kids succeed academically while wrapping other supports around kids and their families.

Ignite Academy aims to scale up to support up to 360 students across six program sites in grades 2 to 7. Students are referred to the program through participating elementary schools in West Windsor, Downtown Windsor, and Leamington. Schools included are General Brock, Begley, Immaculate Conception, St. James, St. Louis and Queen Elizabeth elementary schools. Student enrollment started in May 2022. 

Ignite Academy Supports include:

  • Certified teachers to help kids meet provincial standards in math and literacy outside of school hours.
  • Regular preventative mental wellness sessions
  • Social workers to connect families to community resources
  • Parent engagement opportunities
  • Access to culturally appropriate and multi-lingual services and information
  • Individual and group social mentoring
  • Recreation, sports, arts, and cultural enrichment

Ignite Academy Solution Outcomes:

  • Improved math and literacy skills
  • Improved school attendance, strong program participation
  • Improved self-esteem, leadership skills, peer relationships
  • Children are more physically active
  • Parents feel engaged and supported by program staff
  • Parents and students have increased knowledge of and access to community supports
  • Strengthened collaboration between service providers and quality of program delivery

Our Impact

Ignite Academy Service Delivery Partners

  • Advocating Young Minds
  • Arts Can Teach
  • Big Brothers Big Sisters of Windsor Essex
  • CommUnity Partnership
  • Family Services Windsor Essex
  • Greater Essex County District School Board
  • Multicultural Council of Windsor & Essex County
  • South Essex Community Council
  • United Way/Centraide Windsor-Essex County
  • Windsor Essex Catholic District School Board

Solution Contributors

The Community Action Network (CAN) working groups included 103 people, including 43 service providers over the course of 15 sessions to build this new out-of-school solution. Other priority solutions identified by the CANs include a robust in-school meal program, and more mental health supports for parents and students.

As the collective looks ahead to design solutions for residents in the priority neighbourhoods, barriers and assets will be top of mind. ProsperUs will find ways to best support residents while leveraging the many strengths of existing programs in the community.

The reason I became involved with YCAN is to have a positive impact on my community, a place I hold dear to my heart. I also became involved to grow as a person, enhance my leadership skills and learn more about what our community has to offer.

Sanah Al-Haddad

Downtown Windsor Youth Community Action Network Youth Co-Chair

The Youth Community Action Network got my attention because they were focused on finding solutions for vulnerable communities. They weren’t trying to lecture or make residents feel inadequate. They were asking for help from young, local residents and actually giving us a voice and the power to be heard and seen.

Keren Bernal

West Windsor Youth Community Action Network Youth Co-Chair

Ignite academy students
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I want to support local youth through the ProsperUs Cradle to Career Strategy.

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