MONTREAL, Feb. 10, 2014 /CNW Telbec/ - Before a capacity crowd of more than 200 partners in school retention, who gathered at the Société des arts technologiques, Montreal Hooked on School kicked off the fourth edition of Hooked on School Days (HSD), which will run from February 10 to 14. Over the next few days, more than 1,500 activities will be presented across the Island of Montreal, all aimed at encouraging young people to stay in school.
Montreal Hooked on School rolls out the green carpet
During the launch, Montreal Hooked on School rolled out the green carpet and invited people to walk on it. Like the green and white ribbon that symbolizes student retention, which will be seen all over Quebec this week, the green carpet represents the academic journey. It is aimed at celebrating students' achievements and acknowledging their daily efforts to continue their studies.
"As they go through school, students face all kinds of challenges. With this green carpet, we want to make people aware of the importance of being there to support them at every stage of their journey. Each one of them needs encouragement every day. We all have a role to play in student retention and success: parents, friends, teachers and community workers. I urge all Montrealers to encourage our youth," said Gilles Petitclerc, president of Montreal Hooked on School.
On this year's program: the "HSD squad," six students who went back to school
For the second year in a row, the HSD Squad, consisting of six students who have had difficult but inspiring journeys, will travel around Montreal meeting students in various districts. Jean-Sébastien, Christine, Audrey, Gabrielle, John and Derek will talk about their experiences, which illustrate their perseverance in a tangible and touching way. Poverty, violence, foster families, learning disabilities, drugs and delinquency: although their lives have been anything but easy, they have demonstrated uncommon determination and are now on the path to success.
To read more about the HSD Squad members' stories, click here.
Graduation: Montreal on the right track
The consequences of dropping out of school are very real. Studies show that the annual financial impact of dropping out in Quebec is $1.9 billion. Those without a high school diploma have a lower annual income than graduates, a higher unemployment rate, as well as a shorter life expectancy. The good news is that the efforts made to encourage students to stay in school are producing results. In recent years, the graduation rate in Montreal, and throughout Quebec, has increased by about 5%. In 2012, the graduation and qualification rate before age 20 was 72.5% in Montreal.
Quebec is targeting an 80% graduation rate by 2020, for students under age 20.
"To reach this target, Montreal must meet its graduation objectives," said Andrée Mayer-Périard, executive director of Montreal Hooked on School. "Different goals have been set for various territories on the Island of Montreal, which take local challenges and realities into account. I'm confident that if everyone gets involved, we'll surpass our goals," she added.
To see the complete schedule of activities in Montreal, visit jembarque.ca.
About Montreal Hooked on School
Montreal Hooked on School is a group of 32 partners dedicated to working together and to keeping youth and families at the centre of their efforts to increase school retention. Its mission is to mobilize all partners in Montreal and become a focal point for initiatives that have a positive impact on young people, parents, and other concerned parties, with the objective of increasing school persistence and success, and reconnecting with school. Since 2009, one of its main activities has been supporting joint actions in targeted districts. In 2012-2013, this resulted in the implementation of 95 initiatives aimed at 56,008 youths in nine targeted territories.
Hooked on School Days is a high point in the year, with every region in Quebec joining the efforts to encourage academic success. From February 10 to 14, 2014, thousands of activities will be presented across the province and more than 400,000 ribbons will be handed out. To find out what is happening in each of the regions, visit www.perseverancescolaire.com, www.twitter.com/JPS_HSD or www.facebook.com/JourneesPerseveranceScolaire.
To view the complete list of activities in Montreal:
For a portrait of the situation regarding student retention and academic success in Montreal, click here. (in French only)
Image with caption: "Launch of 2014 Hooked on School Days (HSD) in Montreal : Nearly 200 partners in school perseverance gathered to encourage kids to stay in school ! (CNW Group/Montreal Hooked on School)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20140210_C8840_PHOTO_EN_36529.jpg
SOURCE: Montreal Hooked on School
For further information:
For information about Montreal Hooked on School:
Virginie LeFrançois, communications coordinator
514-286-2346, ext. 211