September 10, 2020
Meet the residents championing neighbourhood change
Windsor, ON – On Thursday, September 10, 2020 ProsperUS introduced the Community Action Network (CAN) resident Co-Chairs that are leading the charge to improve outcomes for grade 3 and 6 students in their neighbourhoods of Downtown Windsor, Leamington and West Windsor at a virtual media event.
ProsperUs is adopting a “Human-Centred Design” approach, giving residents with lived experience of the challenges they are identifying a central role in designing solutions that help position children and families for future success.
Community Action Network (CAN) working groups in each priority neighbourhood have 12 resident seats and is co-chaired by a resident and a volunteer from the ProsperUs Leadership Council’s network. Together, the CAN members, selected from a group of 115 applicants, consider the data, identify the barriers they and fellow community members feel prevent children from succeeding in school, and will soon work with service providers and subject matter experts to co-design solutions to the most urgent issue. Those solutions with be considered by the ProsperUs Leadership Council and local investors for funding and implementation of solutions that are unique to the three communities. The Co-Chairs are also members of the Leadership Council.
“Today we want to celebrate the participation and hard work of the residents who have agreed to become part of the ProsperUs Community Action Networks,” says ProsperUs Leadership Council Co-Chair Janice Kaffer. “ProsperUs is about collective impact – the whole community coming together to create opportunities for children and youth that no single organization or sector can achieve on its own.”
PropserUs is a collective of more than 45 systems leading partners including healthcare, education, business, labour, government and non-profits with a vision to help children succeed from the time they’re born until they have their first meaningful employment.
“We believe that given the current disruption of the education system, support for children and families with children at this age is more important than ever, in ensuring no one is falling behind as a result of the pandemic and the incredible changes happening in and out of our schools,” says Jim Inglis, ProsperUs Leadership Council Co-Chair.
CAN residents have identified that children need better access to before and after school care, more parental support programs to help their children engage in learning, families need safer and more affordable housing, access to better quality food, mental and physical health supports delivered by programs that are easier to get to, more affordable, and offered in multiple languages. These challenges were similarly experienced across all three communities and were expressed as being compounded by the impact of COVID-19 on student learning from lacking access to internet and technology to the loss of connection with their friends.
The next steps for the Community Action Network groups is to build their capacity to understand what has already been tried and what successful innovations already exist, that they can draw on that knowledge for inspiration in local solution design. The voices of young people will also be part of identifying barriers and solution design later this fall. The timeline for implementation of pilot solutions has been pushed back to late 2021 due to delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Downtown Windsor Co-Chair Rose Hayes joined the Community Action Network to help “change the stories for children and families in the downtown core”. Rose was awarded a Certificate of Apprenticeship from St. Clair College before having to leave her career as a machinist to remain home with son who has difficulties attending school due to his learning disabilities. She is grateful for the opportunity to chair the Downtown CAN working group and “to share our experiences and make a difference in the neighborhood”.
West Windsor Co-chair, Mohammed Abdulssalam Al-Dailami is originally from Yemen and moved to Windsor in 2018 with his wife and three daughters, ages six to 13 years old. Mohammed is an English as a second language instructor with experience as a translator and interpreter, currently seeking employment. “I am thankful for the opportunity to be a part of this tremendous project. I am looking forward to a fruitful experience that will enhance our community and decrease poverty,” says Mohammed.
Leamington Co-chair Rose Ageitos, is “passionate about working with the members of our community to help support the ProsperUs goal of helping all our children achieve their dreams”. Rose is a single mother with three kids between the ages of eight and 20 and has lived in the Leamington community for more than a decade. She works in Administration and Finance. To Rose, chairing the CAN, is an exciting opportunity to learn about “innovative solutions and how to live harmoniously in our community”.
Each CAN is co-chaired by a member of the ProsperUs Leadership Council network including: Downtown Windsor Co-chair Kelly Farrugia from the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit, West Windsor Co-chair Frances Savoni of RBC, and Leamington Co-chair Shelley Fellows, retired from Radix Inc.
To stay up to date on future announcements and community consultation dates, visit www.weunlockpotential.com/News or follow ProsperUs on Twitter and Facebook (@WEProsperUs) or email email@example.com
Angela Kharboutli, Interim Marketing & Communications Manager
United Way/Centraide Windsor-Essex County
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