Énergir helps to promote academic success by supporting an initiative of the Sainte-Justine UHC

December 22, 2011 - Press releases

Montreal, December 22, 2011 – Énergir is proud to announce a $100,000 donation over a five-year period to the Sainte-Justine University Hospital Centre to fund research on the implementation of the Brindami program in early childhood centres (CPEs). The aim of this program is to facilitate the school readiness of children from underprivileged communities. School readiness is a critical factor in students’ academic success, a cause that Énergir is dedicated to advancing.

The Brindami program
The main goal of the Brindami program is to prove that the school readiness of children from underprivileged communities can be enhanced by training the CPE educators who work with them to address their specific needs. This initiative will help determine the optimal intensity of the training program for early childhood educators in underprivileged communities in order to narrow the school readiness gap between children from disadvantaged backgrounds and their more advantaged peers. “Énergir’s extraordinary support will help us enrich the learning environment of children from underprivileged communities in Quebec so that we can better prepare them for school and facilitate their academic achievement,” said Sylvana Côté, Ph.D., a researcher with the Sainte-Justine UHC, Associate Professor, Social and Preventive Medicine, at the Université de Montréal and coordinator of the research project. “We are extremely delighted with this new initiative,” she added.

“For over 20 years, Énergir has shown outstanding commitment and generosity to the Sainte-Justine University Hospital Centre. We are honoured to have them as one of our most faithful donors,” stated Anièle Lecoq, President and Executive Director of the Sainte-Justine UHC Foundation.

Academic success and Énergir
Énergir believes that academic success and university excellence are at the core of a social ideal in Quebec. The head office of Énergir is located at the junction of the Centre-Sud and Hochelaga-Maisonneuve districts of Montreal, two of the country’s most economically challenged neighbourhoods, where:

• Nearly one out of every two children (45.9%) starts elementary school with a delay in terms of school readiness
• More than two youths out of five aged 15 to 24 no longer attend school
• Half of the population lives under the poverty line
• The school dropout rate is close to 78%
• Nearly 80% of families live on an income of less than $20,000 a year, and almost 42% are single-parent households
• Over 70 different ethnic and cultural communities co-exist.

“There is a serious dropout problem in underprivileged neighbourhoods. We have to break the cycle. Our youth are the most important resource we, as a society, have. At Énergir, we firmly believe in this cause and we have worked actively for many years to find solutions, in particular through the 80, ruelle de l’Avenir project,” explained Sophie Brochu, President and Chief Executive Officer of Énergir. “Through our support for Sainte-Justine’s Brindami project, Énergir hopes to have a direct impact on promoting and improving the school readiness of our children and increase their chances of academic success.”

About Énergir
Every year, Énergir donates more than $1 million to charitable organizations, as part of its community investment program. With a focus on high-impact initiatives that aim to improve quality of life over the long term, the program endeavours to maximize the benefits of the funds and efforts invested in the community. Precedence is given to organizations and projects in the communities where Énergir employees work, be it at the organization’s headquarters in downtown Montreal or in one of its many business offices across Quebec. 

For further information on Énergir’s social commitment and its community investment policy, go to www.gazmetro.com/donations

To find out more about the 80, ruelle de l’Avenir project, go to www.80-ruelle.org/

About the Sainte-Justine UHC Foundation
The mission of the Sainte-Justine UHC Foundation is to mobilize the community and support the Sainte-Justine University Health Centre in its mission of excellence to provide children and mothers of today and tomorrow with one of the highest levels of healthcare in the world. The Foundation contributes significantly to the funding of many Sainte-Justine UHC activities, including patient care, research, teaching and health promotion.

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For more information: 

Media and Public Relations

Sainte-Justine UHC Foundation  
Diane Fabi
Director, Communications

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