The Smallwood Crescent Community Centre has announced that they have received a $200,000 grant from the Northpine Foundation to fund initiatives that aim to increase student attendance and retention in grades 7-12 in the Marystown/Burin School System.
According to data from Statistics Canada, the dropout rate in the catchment area for Smallwood Crescent Community Centre was almost ten times the national average, with mental health and anxiety identified as leading factors.
The grant from the Northpine Foundation will support a range of interventions at the Smallwood Crescent Community Centre to address this, including early warning systems to identify at-risk students, mentoring programs, alternative education programs, family engagement, and community partnerships.
The Northpine Foundation, a private family foundation, has quickly become one of Canada’s most contributing private philanthropic organizations. Northpine focuses on investing in underserved and underinvested communities across Canada, with a mission to catalyze scalable outcomes for these communities.
“This investment aims to keep children in school and unlock their boundless potential. Recognizing education as the cornerstone of progress, we firmly believe that every child deserves the opportunity to thrive, learn, and build a brighter future,” said Mark Lane, Impact Director, Rural Newfoundland & Labrador at the Northpine Foundation. “With this in mind, we have invested in supporting comprehensive programs and resources as the Small Crescent Community Centre that ensure educational access and success for all children in the region.”
The Smallwood Crescent Community Centre has been a key influence in the area, helping young people get back into school, fulfil graduation requirements and attend post-secondary training. This investment from the Northpine Foundation will allow the Community Centre to expand and strengthen their programs and services and reach more students and families in the region.
“We are very pleased to develop a new partnership with Northpine Foundation to address school attendance and drop-out rates in our community,” said Darrell Jackman, Executive Director of the Smallwood Crescent Community Centre. “Many students are struggling with mental health concerns, drugs & addictions, bullying, low literacy, food insecurity, and issues within their homes that are affecting their ability to attend school and succeed in their classes. With this investment, we can make a real difference in more young people’s lives and help them reach their full potential.”
This investment gives the Smallwood Crescent Community Centre’s efforts a significant boost and aims to provide a model that can be replicated in other communities in Newfoundland and across Canada that face similar challenges with student retention.