02 June 2011|
The role of the outreach workers Karl Thomas and Charles Jackson has changed since the opening of the Annex of École Saint-Luc in January 2010. Before that everyone was in the same building. Although the basic tasks have remained the same: Counselling and reference for the 1825 students. The mandate expands due to the level of trust that is developed with the students, so that the workers can meet their needs, be aware of what is going on or new tendencies as well as be on the lookout for possible negative influences, and prevent negative incidents. The workers also collaborate with the principals, the teachers, the psycho-educators and other members of the staff in the school while providing a presence outside the school during lunch hour and after school, where they have built a level of trust with neighbouring merchants and other contact people. The outreach workers attend regular meetings and participate in workshops for their own professional development.
Additionally, the transfer of 180 students to the annex has afforded one of the outreach workers to get to know the youth a little more and to offer a more personalised approach with them. The ability to also get to know the kids a bit better has allowed us to promote their interests in recreation and sport during lunch time. Because of this, the staff was able to work with Table Jeunesse NDG’s Jeunes Leaders Program to help organize their basketball tournament that was held at École secondaire Saint-Luc. This event was to have the young people empower themselves to raise awareness to the borough about the need for an outdoor basketball court in the neighbourhood.
Thanks to collective efforts and a lot of hard work done by the young people of the Jeunes Leaders Program, the Table Jeunesse NDG and the implication of Prévention CDN-NDG, we no longer speak of a possibility. A promise made by borough mayor Michael Applebaum himself that two courts will be built in NDG, one in George Saint-Pierre Park (Saint-Raymond) and the other in Confederation Park across from École Saint-Luc.
Success story: The youth with which we have worked with have completely changed their attitude about school, have developed a higher regard for themselves and persevere in their lives, despite some poor choices they may have made in the past. These are the reasons why mentoring and our implication with the students become so important for the development of who they are and their success in school.