I noticed a lot of new visitors from that Province. Can someone leave a comment in this blog telling me if there's a story in the Province of Ontario about my blog?
Thursday, January 04, 2007
"Irving who, through his work with BCAPI, wondered why Saint John is plagued with so much poverty."
(I think many citizens can tell irving why there's so much poverty but I'm sure he already knows the answer to that question)
Wanted: Political will
Published 2007-01-04 | Page C1
Imagine a city where all children finish high school and later, become productive, tax-paying citizens.
The co-chairman of Saint John's Business Community Anti-Poverty Initiative (BCAPI) doesn't think that's a stretch.
All it takes, says Bill Gale, is the political will to make it happen.
There's already a movement in the city called Partners Assisting Local Schools (PALS) that has accomplished much of what government has, historically, not been able to do.
Through corporate partnerships, beginning with J.D. Irving, Limited, four schools that had few resources and even less spirit and self-confidence are becoming places of pride and a second home for their students.
Imagine, says Gale, what could happen if government joined in.
"The human resources, the money, is all there," said Gale.
"It will happen, but it's going to take a long time. Everything is there to cause it to happen.
"There's only one thing lacking in the province and the country - the will to do it. Government has to have the will to do it. It has to help make it happen."
PALs is the brainchild of industrialist J. K. Irving who, through his work with BCAPI, wondered why Saint John is plagued with so much poverty. The business group commissioned a study and discovered that more than 19,000 people in the city are poor - that's 35 per cent higher than the provincial and national averages and 145 per cent higher than the remainder of Greater Saint John.
Complicating the problem, the study found, is that 43 per cent of poor people are more than eight times more likely to be part of a single-parent family.
A picture was painted of a vicious cycle of poverty that saw kids dropping out of school and a high number of pregnant teens.
"You start thinking about what you can do and how can you help," said Irving.
As the business group gathered more information, it became evident, he said, that changes in attitude must happen early.
"You have to catch the children before they get into their teens," said Irving. "By the time they're in Grade 8, they should have their values and all of that pretty much set. Once you get to high school and beyond, it's pretty hard to change a group of people."
Prince Charles School is down the street from the Irving corporate offices. It was a natural starting base for PALS, and educators at the local school district level jumped at the opportunity.
Today, the corporate community brings PALS to four city schools - besides Prince Charles, the others are St. John The Baptist/King Edward in the south end, and Centennial and Hazen White-St. Francis schools in the north end. Spreading the program around Saint John is key, says Irving.
"If we could look after our youth here, give them self-esteem and get them interested in things, give it ten or fifteen years and it'll make quite a difference in the city. I hope the government will see the project in a good light and support it."
The link between low levels of literacy and poverty is not lost on J. Douglas Willms, director of the Canadian Research Institute for Social Policy at the Fredericton campus, University of New Brunswick.
The concentration of poor people in specific neighbourhoods stacks the deck against the children, he said.
"What Saint John has working against it is, when you concentrate kids from poor backgrounds together in the same school or classroom, they do much worse than they would if they were in mixed ability groups," said Willms.
"There's double jeopardy - they're at a disadvantage because they come from poor families, and they're also disadvantaged because they're not in mixed-ability settings. Kids who come from affluent backgrounds tend to do well in any setting."
The reason this finding is consistent, he said, is simple: if five or six students in a classroom of 25 are vulnerable, that's a big enough challenge for a teacher. If the whole class is vulnerable, it becomes an impossible task.
Willms believes strongly in the importance of volunteers and community advocates and mentors in schools - a hallmark of PALS.
"It needs to be a more general approach that involves families, teachers and the business community," he says, and must begin with the expectation that all kids are going to succeed.
"It starts out with a goal that asks, what will it take to have 95 per cent of our children finish Grade 3 with the ability to use reading to learn?"
Literature suggests that children identified as being at risk of failing school by Kindergarten or Grade 1 need 100 to 150 hours of augmentative instruction to catch up in groups no larger than three-to-one, said Willms.
With commercial tutoring programs running at $30 to $40 per hour, it would cost up to $6,000 to get each student on track, he said. While that may sound expensive, the larger picture suggests otherwise, says Willms. In fact, he said, studies have shown that $1 invested in literacy early on yields a $3 return later.
"Think about what it will mean if you reduce it from 25 per cent of kids that are significantly below grade level at the end of Grade 3, to five per cent.
"The price tag becomes much greater if you look at the cost in the longer term for health care, social welfare, or ending up in the criminal justice system."
BLESSED IS HE WHOSE TRANSGRESSIONS ARE FORGIVEN,
WHOSE SINS ARE COVERED. BLESSED IS THE MAN
WHOSE SIN THE LORD DOES NOT COUNT AGAINST HIM AND
IN WHOSE SPIRIT IS NO DECEIT.
( PSALM 32:1-2 *NIV )
Often people feel that they have committed a sin in the past
that can not be forgiven. A sin that is so horrible that God could
never forgiven them. This is simply not true! For; IF WE
CONFESS OUR SINS, HE IS FAITHFUL AND JUST AND WILL
FORGIVE US OUR SINS AND PURIFY US FROM ALL
UNRIGHTEOUSNESS. ( 1 JOHN 1:9 )
After all Jesus even forgave a thief on the cross, did He not?
( LUKE 23:40-43 ) This is because when we confess our sins
and ask for forgiveness, our past sins are cleansed from the
Book of Life by the Precious Blood of our Savior Jesus Christ!
For; IN HIM WE HAVE REDEMPTION THROUGH HIS BLOOD
THE FORGIVENESS OF SINS, IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE
RICHES OF GOD'S GRACE THAT HE LAVISHED ON US WITH
ALL WISDOM AND UNDERSTANDING. ( EPHESIANS 1:7-8 )
Therefore never feel that a sin you have committed in the
past can not be forgiven, that simply is not true! For our Savior
paid the price for the sin debt for the whole World on the cross!
So, it can be said; WHO IS A GOD LIKE YOU, WHO
PARDONS SIN AND FORGIVES THE TRANSGRESSION OF
THE REMNANT OF HIS INHERITANCE? YOU DO NOT STAY
ANGRY FOREVER BUT DELIGHT TO SHOW MERCY. YOU
WILL AGAIN HAVE COMPASSION ON US; YOU WILL TREAD
OUR SINS UNDERFOOT AND HURL ALL OUR INIQUITIES
INTO THE DEPTHS OF THE SEA. Amen.
( MICAH 7:18-19 )
With My Love & Prayers,
your servant Allen
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Apostle Paul Ministries, P O Box 55996, Hayward, CA 94545
This Daily Message was sent by request to:
Charles Leblanc at
ONE WEEK LEFT BEFORE THE MEMORIAL FOR NEW BRUNSWICKERS WHO HAVE KILLED THEMSELVES BECAUSE OF THE VLT'S!!!
One week left before Tim Smith Memorial for the people who killed themselves because of these dreadful machines.
Word is spreading and many are offering suggestions via-emails or on the streets.
I have to add this little story.
Tim Smith came here last year and he paid for everything.
He paid to make his little memorial which I might add took a lot of time.
He paid for the bouquet of flowers, candles and the bus trip back home.
Anyone who supports his cause can join him on January 12th.
But be warned? It’s going to be cold. I’ll be with him all day long in support and of course to cover his good-hearted gesture.
What’s a little cold when you think of the people who were mentally tortured before killing themselves???
If anyone wishes to help the cause?
Send flowers at the New Brunswick Legislature for January 12th. < If the Quebec security staff doesn’t destroy them? >
If you wish to give help Tim financially or with letters?
Send it to me at