Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Edmonton Social Planning Council

Today I attended an all-candidate mixer hosted by ESPC. The other tenants in the building- Mennonite Centre for Newcomers, AA, Action for Healthy Communities- were also in attendance.

I spoke to a number of people and asked them the question: how can we build connections between the excellent social work you are doing and schools to help children?

There were a lot of ideas in the room:
--Action for Healthy Communities is always looking for gyms and other facilities to host their programming for youth.
--AA is willing to offer programs for children who are living with alcoholism.
--The Mennonite Centre has community brokers who can work in schools to help immigrant children. They also prefer to offer language classes in community schools, to reach more people.

There are so many ways to improve services for children and schools should be the obvious hub for the delivery. Working in concert with these agencies, pooling resources rather than duplicating services...together we can offer a more comprehensive approach. Together, we can reach more children in need and address those needs at the correct time. Avoiding the problems we see in elementary school won't make them go away....it will only make them grow.

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