November 22, 2007 - Press releases
Montréal, November 22, 2007 – Today saw the launch of “80, ruelle de l’Avenir”, an educational project initiated by the Centre-Sud and Hochelaga-Maisonneuve community. The project will transform an annex of Garneau elementary school, located on Papineau in Montréal, into a unique and stimulating learning centre for young people from one of the most disadvantaged districts in Montréal. About 300 children from Garneau school, as well as 60 organizations from the neighbourhood, were present at the launch.
“This initiative, unique in Québec, rallies people from the business world and the local community around a project that aims to inspire children to dream. We want to make “80, ruelle de l'Avenir” a special, custom-designed place, accessible year-round, where young people can give free rein to their creativity as well as invent themselves,” explained Sophie Brochu, Chief Executive Officer of Gaz Métro, an important partner in the project.
In concrete terms, “80, ruelle de l’Avenir” consists of converting an annex of Garneau school into six thematic workshops, including a kitchen/laboratory, a botanical room, a multimedia centre, a science workshop, a dance studio and a lounge. The workshops will be located on each site of a central corridor, designed as a ruelle.
A “Place de l’Avenir” will be created on the roof and will welcome children and their parents into a garden with plants, flowers and culinary herbs. The school gym will be totally renovated to accommodate new physical and sports activities for young people, as well as events of a cultural or artistic nature. The project also envisages renovating and “greening” the schoolyard to make it suitable for recreation and family get-togethers.
The project’s originator is Projet 80, a community organization that has been working with young people from the Centre-Sud and Hochelaga-Maisonneuve districts for 30 years in a fight against school dropout. “We supply hundreds of meals every day to young people from the neighbourhood, realizing that it is much easier to learn with a full tummy. Once that is done, we need to offer them the tools that will help them fulfill their potential and find their way in life. Ruelle de l'Avenir is the way out of the impasse,” added Daniel Paquin, General Manager of Projet 80.
This ambitious project could not have got off the ground without the close collaboration of the Commission scolaire de Montréal (CSDM) and Garneau elementary school. From the outset, these institutions have participated in every step in the design of the project. Their openness and support have enabled the project to grow in scale to what it is today, while leaving a key role to be played by partners from the district.
“As a result of wonderful collaboration between the CDSM and several partners from the neighbourhood, “80, ruelle de l’Avenir” will create a stimulating learning environment for our students, who will have the opportunity to take full advantage it all. Everything will be done to arouse their imagination and encourage their success, in a spirit of cooperation and sustainable development. These values fit perfectly with those of our school board,” underscored Diane de Courcy, Chair of the CDSM.
Several partners have already agreed to support the project by volunteering their expertise, along with human and material resources. In particular, we note the commitment of the following organizations:
HKDP Communications and Public Affairs
514-395-0375, ext.231, 514-248-7844
Frédéric Krikorian, Gaz Métro: 514-598-3449;
Michel Trottier CSDM: 514-596-6000 # 6768;
Daniel Paquin, Projet 80: 514-525-4233