Back to school

September can be a month of heartbreaking decisions, as a tight budget often means that parents have to go without some essentials in order to buy supplies and cover other school-related costs. Unfortunately, families in this situation often have to sacrifice their food budgets to cover these expenses.

Fortunately, many Centraide-supported agencies can help them find solutions to the back-to-school challenge.


Why back to school can be so hard?


Is the fight against dropouts working?


“The start of a new school year is a time to remember how academic perseverance is a major challenge in the fight against poverty.

Young dropouts will earn less in their lifetime, find themselves without work more often, have a lower quality of life, and not live as long.

This becomes a vicious cycle, as a family’s financial situation is a determining factor in a child’s academic success. The dropout rate is two and a half times higher in underprivileged neighbourhoods. In some areas, over half of students leave high school without a diploma.

However, the good news is that the graduation rate in Montreal is getting better. It rose nearly 14% in eight years from 67.7% in 2009 to 81.4% in 2017. This improvement is thanks to collaboration between everyone who helps children, teens and their families along the journey to success. These stakeholders include the community agencies supported by Centraide of Greater Montreal and the neighbourhood roundtables that mobilize community, institutional and private partners. We also owe a debt of thanks to Montreal Hooked on School, whose more than thirty regional partners include Centraide. Our incredible results come from working together!

But the battle is far from won, as too many young people still drop out of school. We must give local stakeholders tools to collectively work on the determinants of success, such as parental involvement, personalized academic mentoring, and particularly food security for children. This is how we will raise graduation rates and break the cycle of poverty. And that is precisely what Centraide is doing.”

— Mario Régis, Vice-President – Social Development, Centraide of Greater Montreal, and Centraide representative for Montreal Hooked on School