by Valérie Racine
Parents received participation
certificates with pride on Nov. 1 for taking part of Concordias
Institute in Management and Community Developments (IMCD) 2002 Summer
The second annual ceremony, held this year in Parc-Extension, was an example
of the successful collaboration among community organizations, including
the Third Avenue Resource Centre and the Parc-Extension Youth Organization.
Mireille Landry, a coordinator at the Institute, explained that the Summer
Program underlines Concordia Universitys efforts to reach out to
communities in Montreal.
The week-long bilingual program, which celebrated its 10th year in June
2002, is designed to equip its participants with the tools needed in community
development. Participants reflect on social change and share their experiences
on community action. This year, 900 people took part in the Summer Program,
including 62 parents particularly interested in their childrens
These graduates celebrated with jazz music and a light buffet
of pizzas, salads and desert. Colourful posters decorated the walls of
the Parc-Extension Youth Organization. Luisa Durante, from the Third Avenue
Resource Centre, explained that these posters represented the parents
Michael James, a parent involved in last summers program, shared
his experience during the ceremony. Through Parents in Action for Education
and the two workshops he attended at the Loyola Campus last summer, James
claimed that he now stands much wiser.
Like many other parents at the ceremony, James is a recent immigrant.
A Pakistani now living in Montreal, James confided that networks of community
organizations help immigrants to become more integrated in the society
and become more useful citizens in Canada.
Maria Sinopha David, a participant and trainer in the program, also emphasized
the important role the organizations play in the societal integration
of newcomers in Montreal.
I think the Summer Program helps parents get involved in their childrens
education because it gives them the resources they need, she said.
The better resources they have, the better they will integrate and
play an active role in public education. David is the president
of the governing board of her childs school.
Landry congratulated the parents who were at the ceremony, emphasizing
the need to continue to build tools and understanding.
She also invited the parents to get involved in the Parents Planning
Committee. This committee, active from October to February, is a new initiative
aimed at encouraging the participation of parents in planning the 2003
James, who is already involved in the committee, said that one change
he would like to see in the program is longer and more intensive workshops.
One week was too short, he said. I was left thirsty