“Is it time for CSI yet?”
How the CSI program became a household name in the Edwards Gange home.
Elsie Edwards Gagne can nurse her kids back to health, break up sibling quarrels and cook dinner with a blindfold on. As a busy mom with 6 daughters, she’s pretty much seen it all – what she didn’t see coming, however, was the commotion that would ensure after her eldest daughter, Treyshawna, joined CSI.
“My younger daughters Angelique and Deneilla wanted to go to CSI the moment Treyshawna went. At the time, I had to keep telling them they couldn’t go until they were old enough,” Elsie says, “My girls cried all the time and never let me forget about enrolling them into the program.”
Each day when Treyshawna came home from CSI she would often talk about the neat activities she took aprt in and always looked forward to what the next day had in store. Looking back on those days, Elsie has seen some great gains in Treyshawna’s work ethic since finishing CSI and couldn’t be happier with the results.
“Treyshawna is a sweet girl, but when she was younger she was easily distracyed by the people around her and paid less attention to what was going on in school, “ Elsie recalls, “After one summer through CSI she started to do her work without me telling her to do it and became more focused as time went on.”
“I’ve become a better reader and writer, pretty much because of the whole experience I had with CSI,” says Treyshawna, “Even the field trips helped me out in some way. It was really fun!”
Now in grade 8, Treyshawna still manages to find her way back to CSI at Dufferin School, but this time as a CSI volunteer.
“I loved everything about CSI – the field trips, the food, the people, everything! I want to help the program grow so that more kids get a chance to go and that’s why I’m a volunteer now,” she says.
Melissa Foidart, Manager of Education Programs, says that learning is at the core of CSI. By breaking down the stigmas that learning is boring, children are able to thrive and increase the likelihood of achieving success in school.
“Having fun while learning is one of the biggest differences in our approach,” she says, “If they enjoy what they do, they’ll be motivated to learn – that’s where we see the greatest gains.”
And Elsie agrees.
“Nothing beats the smile on their face when my daughters come home excited and tell me all of the new facts they learned,” she says, “They think CSI is all fun and games but they don’t realize how much knowledge the get out of it – from everything that my daughters have taught me, it’s a lot!”
Back at home, Angelique and Deneilla anxiously await the start of another fun year at CSI, while Elsie’s remaining three daughters look forward to the day when they can join the program too.
“If you want your kids doing something positive and enriching, CSI is the best place to send them,” she says, “Having fun is good, but if your kids can learn something in the process, that’s definitely a bonus in my eyes. That’s why I support this program – it has kept my girls interested in school and that will go a long way for their futures.”