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.

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: La Tablée des Chefs

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.

Programs

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.

Strategic Partnerships

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 cannot 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.

How Community Partners Can Get 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.

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