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MONTREAL, MAY 2, 2007- The East Island Montreal Community Network organized an Anglophone Community Forum, Partners Beyond 2008, on Thursday April 12, 2007 at the Leonardo Da Vinci Centre in St. Lèonard.

Approximately 50 representatives from the four East Island CSSS, the EMSB and various local community organizations gathered to take stock of the status and development of services, projects and local initiatives which have emerged over the last few years. The East Island anglophone community decided to establish a community network in order to help anglophone citizens obtain services in English, to discover the funding opportunities available for schools in partnership with community organizations and the health and social services network. Some of the community organizations which took part included the CCS, Italian-Canadian Services, Toxico Stop, East Foundation, Foster Pavilion, Ami Quebec, Don Bosco Youth Leadership Centre, Educaloi, Almage and Service Bénevole de L’Est.

Many local initiatives have been organized or are in the planning stage for future development. Some of these projects include: a daycare respite for the intellectually challenged, Foster Pavilion Services in the East, addiction awareness, on-Ssite visits from 50 Université de Montréal resident doctors at Laurier Macdonald High School, a Vanier Nursing Fair at Laurier Macdonald High School, a literacy project, language tutorials by student volunteers,the establishment of the Laurier Macdonald Community Centre, diabetes iIntervention strategy for Quebec minority anglophone vommunities and the Care-ing Voice Network. "Our EMSB students have either been the recipients, organizers or volunteers in community service with many of these projects, and East Island schools have been the recipients of funding from FASSP (fonds d'adaptation des services de santé primaries), Youth Justice Funding, Santé Canada, Canadian Diabetes Strategy, Agence de Santé de Montréal, CHSSN along with other local funding," said EMSB Assistant Director of Student Services Dora Cesta.

Over the last few years partnerships have developed with the EMSB, McGill University, Université de Montréal, the Foster Pavilion and the various CSSS. Laurier Macdonald High School has been actively involved with many of these projects, and has been a dynamic partner in the east with respect to seeking and receiving funding and initiating many of these projects. The Laurier Macdonald team was well represented at the Forum by Pat Buttino, Liboria Amato, Carmela Rizzo and Gina Bergantino.

Displays were set up by the EMSB, Laurier Macdonald and Perspectives I and II High School. EMSB representatives presented an update of the Board's status with respect to the development of partnerships and projects with the CSSS and local communities in the East Island. Other presenters included representatives from CSSS, MELS, CHSSN, Agence de développement de réseaux locaux de services de santé et de services sociaux.

"The importance of active partnership between the various partners from education, community and the health and social services network is enhanced by strong bonds of communication and active participation by those stakeholders who will participate in and benefit from the initiatives which will emerge from involvement in this network,” saus Ms. Cesta. "The network is planning future workshops, study days and forums where the EMSB schools will be invited to participate. We look forward to the development of partnerships and the involvement of the EMSB East Island schools in these initiatives because they offer opportunities in so many areas of need where our students can be the beneficiaries and participants in local community-based projects. It is only with strong partnerships such as these that we can go the extra distance and have quality results."

Michael J. Cohen
Communications and Marketing Specialist
English Montreal School Board
Tel: (514) 483-7200 ext. 7243
Fax: (514) 483-7213