The Power of Partnerships - Collaborating for Impact
Developing partnerships and enhancing relationships between schools and community organizations is one of the most important responsibilities of LEARN’s Provincial Resource Team (PRT) and Community Learning Centres (CLC). Building effective school-community partnerships that support students and communities requires time and must be a collaborative process. As partners make connections, work together and get to know each other, they develop trust and mutual respect for each other.
Schools that participate in the CLC Initiative have discovered that by working in partnership, schools and communities have a greater impact than they do individually. This means that they “pay explicit attention to students’ social and emotional development as well as their academic learning, recognizing that they are intertwined and mutually reinforcing” (Coalition for Community Schools, 2018). School-community partnerships provide students with enriched learning opportunities and facilitate the development of community service learning projects, where teachers create student learning opportunities that address authentic needs within the community.The PRT facilitates the development of partnerships at the school level and the adoption of effective strategies to support student engagement and community vitality. School-community partnerships contribute to enhancing school climate which in turn, often leads to decreased absenteeism, suspensions, substance abuse, and bullying while increasing students’ motivation to learn. Greater community involvement in the schools also leads to an increase in financial and material contributions and more volunteers supporting the school team.
Over the years, the PRT has built some very strategic and loyal partnerships. For more than a decade, the PRT has worked with the Community Health and Social Services Network (CHSSN) to improve the overall well-being of youth in English schools in Quebec. This partnership has been successful because of mutually reinforcing strategies that enable the achievement of common goals.
Over the years, the PRT and CHSSN have collaborated on many projects, including the development of an Action Framework and a School Well-being Quick Assessment Tool. This framework builds upon research and evidence-based activities linking health, educational outcomes and student perseverance.
This strategic partnership is also aligned with the priorities of Quebec’s public health and social services agencies as well as school educational projects, encouraging teachers and school administrators to make the link between educational successes and student health outcomes.
The CLC Initiative has always focused on the holistic development of the child by developing strategic alliances in the community. The importance of these partnerships can not be underestimated, especially when it comes to tackling complex social issues like childhood nutrition and obesity. That is why LEARN’s PRT has partnered with La Tablée des Chefs this year to introduce students to basic cooking techniques and the principles of healthy eating.
La Tablée des Chefs are currently offering two different programs in CLC schools. Kitchen Brigades (Brigades Culinaires) is an afterschool program that brings in a local chef to work with high school students, providing them with training in proper nutrition and basic cooking techniques. A community component of the program sees some of the food prepared by students donated to needy families in their community. The second program, Cook to Eat Better (Cuisiner Pour Mieux Manger), is integrated directly into the job readiness training curriculum for students in the Work Oriented Training Pathway. This program allows students to acquire basic cooking skills, prepare for work in the culinary trade, and maintain a healthy diet.
Programs like those offered by La Tablée des Chefs and PRT collaborations with CHSSN, are just some of the strategies that CLC schools use to help our youth put aside those bad habits and focus on eating nutritiously and living a healthy life. The foundation of a healthy community starts at home. This is why the PRT and its partners are excited to be developing strategies that are inclusive of both students and their families in 2019.
Partnerships enhance the work of the PRT and CLCs by leveraging resources that lead to greater impact in the classroom and in the community. Organizations interested in working with the CLC network can contact the Provincial Resource Team to explore the possibilities.
Featured Partner and Programs
Tablée des Chefs
LEARN is proud to be partnering with La Tablée des Chefs, a non-profit organization whose mission is to feed those in need while educating today's youth in the culinary arts. Through this partnership, the Provincial Resource Team (PRT) has already connected three high schools participating in the Community Learning Centre Initiative (CLC) to the Brigades Culinaires program.
The Brigades Culinaires program consists of culinary workshops, competitions, and one Grand Competition. The workshops will be held as extra-curricular activities from October to May, allowing students to develop their culinary skills and food knowledge.
Today, the Brigades Culinaires program is offered as an extracurricular activity to over 2000 students in 100 French-language secondary schools throughout the province of Quebec. In addition to connecting English-language schools to this incredible organization, LEARN has assisted with the translation of program materials and the start-up costs for the CLC schools.
Cuisiner pour mieux manger is a program for students in WOTP that consists of 30 workshops, ten of which are led by professional chefs.
The Culinary Brigades program is an after school program for high schools that includes 20 culinary workshops and a cooking competition. Click here to learn more.
Interested in bringing one of these programs to life in your school? Contact a member of the PRT.
Community Partnerships: Getting Involved
Schools thrive when they can count on the support of community based organizations and local businesses to enhance student learning and success.
How can community organizations and businesses get involved?
• Offer to share your expertise with students and staff members;
• Develop internship opportunities for students;
• Offer to participate in strategic planning sessions for school improvement;
• Make a material donation (e.g., books, gardening supplies);
• Make a financial contribution toward something your organization is passionate about (e.g., financial literacy).
Not sure where to start or which schools to contact? Fill out the form here and someone from the LEARN team will be happy to get in touch.
ACDPN (African Canadian Development & Prevention Network)
Tania Callender (firstname.lastname@example.org)
ACDPN’s mission is to: Develop a network of organizations that can contribute to a thriving Black community; Facilitate organizational capacity building, joint planning and resource development; Promote healthy practices and best practice prevention models; Advocate for improved access to services for the Black community; Promote and support the Strengthening of Black families.
Ella Amir, Executive Director (email@example.com)
AMI-Quebec Action on Mental Illness helps families manage the effects of mental illness through support, education, guidance, and advocacy. AMI-Quebec helps family caregivers cope with mental illness in a loved one. Caregiving is often a difficult and long-term task that family members are not necessarily prepared for. We help families to cope with these difficulties by better understanding mental illness and their own situations. This helps caregivers to provide the best support to their loved one while taking care of their own well-being.
CCS (Collective Community Services)
Craig Sweeney (firstname.lastname@example.org)
CCS has served Montreal for 85 years as a private-sector social agency. Originally incorporated in 1932 as Catholic Welfare Bureau Inc., CCS has adapted to better meet the needs of the diversified communities we serve. Today, we refer to ourselves as Collective Community Services. We are located in Verdun and work primarily in the Sud Ouest borough of Montreal.
CFEE (Canadian Foundation for Economic Education)
Brian Smith (email@example.com)
CFEE is a non-profit, non-partisan organization, founded in 1974, that works to improve economic, financial, and enterprising capability. CFEE works collaboratively with our funding partners, departments of education, school boards, schools, educators, and teacher associations to develop and provide free, non-commercial programs and resources for teachers and students – developed and reviewed by educators. CFEE also has a range of program to assist newcomers to Canada as they look to settle and integrate into their new country. CFEE’s work primarily focuses on youth but also aspires to help people of all ages be better prepared to undertake their economic roles, responsibilities, and decisions with confidence and competence.
CHSSN (Community Health and Social Services Network)
Russ Kueber (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The Community Health and Social Services Network (CHSSN) was formed in 2000 to support English-speaking communities in the province of Quebec in their efforts to redress health status inequalities and promote community vitality. Through a series of projects and partnerships that link community and public partners, the CHSSN is working to strengthen networks at the local, regional and provincial level in order to address health determinants, influence public policy and develop services. Our aim is to contribute to the vitality of English-speaking communities of Quebec by building strategic relationships and partnerships within the health and social services system to improve access to services.
CPF (Canadian Parents for French)
Gabrielle Guillon (email@example.com)
CPF was founded in 1977 by parents who wanted to ensure that children would have the opportunity to become bilingual in the Canadian school system. Originally a small group of concerned parents who met in Ottawa, CPF has evolved into a proactive national network with 10 Branch offices and some 150 Chapters in communities nationwide.
EPCA (English Parents Committee Association)
Debi German (firstname.lastname@example.org)
EPCA is a provincial organization representing the Parents’ Committees and Central Parents’ Committees of Quebec’s English school boards. EPCA is a nonprofit provincial corporation funded by the government of Quebec. EPCA is the sole representative body representing Quebec English parents’ interests to the MEES. EPCA, via its member Parent Committees, assists and supports parents by providing education and, when necessary, advocacy, on more regional matters. By the very nature of this parent association, its main concern is the well being and education of the students who attend the English public schools of Quebec. With the exception of one part-time employee, EPCA’s Executive and Directors are all volunteer parents who seek to promote an enriched bilingual education for all Quebec children. This agenda guides its membership. The membership is comprised of two directors per school board.
First Nations Adult Education Council
Rola Helou (email@example.com)
On behalf of the First Nation communities of Quebec and in collaboration with its stakeholders, the mission of the First Nations Adult Education School Council is to provide the necessary leadership for the implementation and operations of the First Nation Regional and Local Adult Education Centers of Quebec. The FNAESC is committed to providing high quality adult learning environments that focus on culturally relevant student-centered learning in a safe and healthy environment that reflects the values of First Nations and allows the students to gain the necessary knowledge and skills required for their future educational endeavours and employment.
Krystyna Slawecki (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Erin Murray (email@example.com)
Frontier College is Canada's original literacy organization, with a rich and storied history dating back to our beginning in 1899. Frontier College is a national literacy organization. We believe literacy is a right. We work with volunteers and community partners to give people the skills and confidence they need to reach their potential and contribute to society. Low literacy skills are directly linked to poverty, poor health, and high unemployment. Our network of volunteers provides excellent and effective programming to improve literacy in communities across Canada, from coast to coast to coast. We value mutual respect and collaboration in all our relationships.
Provincial Resource Team, Community Schools Network (PRT@learnquebec.ca)
LEARN is a non-profit educational organization that offers, at no charge, a wealth of information and resources for the English-speaking community in Quebec. LEARN brings together the expertise and efforts of educators, students, parents and partners in our community to cultivate success for all learners. We help people learn and are the most innovative driving force for educational innovation and practice in Quebec.
Margo Legault (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Literacy Quebec is a network that connects and represents community –based literacy organizations to empower people, impact lives and build a stronger society. We envision a Quebec where everyone has the literacy skills they need to live a fully engaged life. In pursuit of our mission, Literacy Quebec engages in a wide range of activities: Providing professional development opportunities for literacy practitioners, Advocating for literacy, Working in partnership with government agencies, Networking with literacy-related groups, Raising awareness of the importance of literacy in Quebec.
QDF (Quebec Drama Federation)
Deborah Forde (email@example.com)
The QDF exists to support English-language theatre companies, artists and their artistic expressions in Quebec. This support manifests itself through leadership, collaborations with partners and stakeholders in the community, promotion of the artists and companies, professional development and identification of the role of theatre in the community at large. It also provides resources and means through which success and recognition of English-language theatre companies and artists in Quebec, to the rest of Canada and on an international scale, is achieved.
QESCRN (Quebec English-Speaking Communities Research Network)
Lorraine O'Donnell (Lorraine.ODonnell@concordia.ca)
The Quebec English-speaking communities research network (QUESCREN) is a collaborative network of researchers, stakeholders, educational and other institutions that improves understanding of Quebec’s English-speaking communities and promotes their vitality. QUESCREN provides opportunities to promote the understanding and vitality of Quebec’s English-language minority communities through research, training, knowledge mobilization, networking and outreach.
QWF (Quebec Writers Federation)
Lori Schubert (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The Quebec Writers' Federation (QWF) is playing an increasingly prominent role in the life of the Quebec English-language literary community as an arts presenter and professional and community educator, as well as the representative of Quebec's English-language writers. The diversity of its activities reflects the diversity of its membership. Along with professional and emerging writers, the QWF includes those who have a personal interest in writing and many who have joined because they are interested in high quality literary events, activities and programs. All of these constituents are linked by the QWF vision that works toward ensuring a lasting place for English literature and its practitioners on the Quebec cultural scene.
YES Montreal (Youth Employment Services)
Aki Tchitacov, Executive Director
YES was created in 1995 as a non-profit organization to stem the flow of young people out of Quebec. Since then, we have expanded our mission to help over 46,000 Quebecers during economic uncertainty through our various programs and services for Job Seekers up to age 35 and Entrepreneurs and Artists of any age. Throughout the year, we provide individual career counseling, business coaching, day and evening workshops, mentoring, conferences, and networking opportunities. In addition to having a stellar in-house staff, we rely on our network of partners from the business, non-profit, media, academic and corporate communities to deliver services, act as mentors, and provide strategic direction.