Investing in education in disadvantaged communities: worth the effort!



Community organization Projet 80, along with its main partners Gaz Métro and the Commission scolaire de Montréal, is getting close to reaching a major goal.

Together the partners created 80, Ruelle de l'Avenir, an ambitious initiative aimed at encouraging young people to stay in school. The project required major investment to finance the transformation of an annex of a school in Montréal's Centre-Sud district into a stimulating learning environment through the creation of various facilities such as a kitchen, a science and robotics laboratory, a reading room, a rooftop garden, a multimedia centre and a multi-purpose gymnasium. These resources, accessible to all of the neighbourhood's primary schools, are coordinated by specialized program workers whose mission is to support teachers and their students in developing and carrying out stimulating projects.

The Ruelle students appear to make an easier transition to high school.

The results of this study speak for themselves. Indeed, the groups of students who used the new facilities and took part in project-based educational activities experienced a significant improvement in their learning motivation and adaptation. In addition, their French and mathematics skills increased more than those of comparable group of students who did not benefit from the program. Furthermore, the Ruelle students appear to make an easier transition to high school.

The results to date are encouraging and demonstrate the greater effectiveness of stay-in-school programs that mobilize families, schools, social workers and private businesses within a community. They also indicate the pertinence of pedagogical approaches adapted to the socio-economic characteristics of the students.

Main researcher

Roch Chouinard, Université de Montréal

Summary

Research report

Call for proposals

Deposit of the research report: July 2012