the LEARNING ENRICHMENT FOUNDATION annual report

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1 the LEARNING ENRICHMENT FOUNDATION annual report

2 Board of Directors executive: Ed Lamoureux President James McLeod Vice-President Devon MacDonald Vice-President Dr. Kathleen Macdonald Secretary Fergy Brown Past President Members: John Blair Joy Boatswain Bob Churchill Sam Cole Arthur Kennedy Marg Middleton Barbara Spyropoulos Alan Tonks Jennifer Venart-Sym Mike Wilder The Learning Enrichment Foundation was formed more than 30 years ago in response to the needs of the former City of York. Today we offer a range of services, including: childcare, youth programs, employment services, settlement services, language training, skills advancement programs and courses, and community enterprises. Retirements This year LEF said goodbye to two of our talented and valued employees. We offer our sincerest thanks and best wishes to: Gwendolyn Woolery retired Dec tenure at lef 9 Years department Childcare Services Lois Gayle retired Mar tenure at lef 14 Years department Childcare Services Principles and Values We respect and believe in the dignity and value of individuals, therefore, at LEF, we: Work to restore/enhance self-sufficiency and self-determination for clients; Support an inclusive community focus; Celebrate diversity; Value justice and compassion; Uphold integrity in programming and accountability to stakeholders; Promote creativity and innovation; Collaborate, cooperate and share; Approach our work in a proactive, flexible, multi-faceted and practical manner; Respond to community needs; and Trust in the commitment, high professionalism and integrity of our staff. Mission Statement The Learning Enrichment Foundation provides integrated and holistic community responsive initiatives that enable individuals and their families to become valued contributors to their community s social and economic development.

3 Resilience in a Changing World With 130-odd cranes in the air, Toronto is booming. The amount of building and growth in the city is unprecedented. Here in the Ol City of York the boom is about to begin with significant local investments in transit. The infrastructure spending will lay the foundation for the revitalization of our community, and that will be matched by the innovation of our many local leaders. In so many ways these are exciting times. Yet for many, the reality is less exuberant. Underpinning the boom is a structural change in work. With ever increasing part-time and occasional work, individuals are working harder than ever to weave together the financial security their families need. That resilience and entrepreneurial spirit is evident to us here at LEF each and every day. It is that same resilience and entrepreneurial spirit that we reflect in our work here at LEF. As we speak, funding and programs are shifting each and every day. Yet as you will see, we remain grounded in the realities and dreams of our community and the individuals we serve, weaving together opportunities that will assist in the realization of those dreams wherever and however possible. Amidst the concerns over a shaky economy; amidst the re-balancing of government finances; amidst the vast array of changing legislation and policies; amidst the themes of the poverty of time, poverty of relationships and economic poverty; there is a determination that is deeply felt by all of us at LEF and shared by members of our community who are, as we are, determined to make it on their own, determined to build a future for their kids, determined to help the community. Sincerely, Ed Lamoureux President Peter Frampton Executive Director

4 Beyond the Day-to-Day Struggle What does it take to feel economically stable? In 2010 LEF was invited to participate in a Community-University Research Alliance (CURA) study with the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) at the University of Toronto, that intended to look at the impact of social enterprise in the City of Toronto. As LEF recognizes childcare as a social enterprise in every sense, we surveyed staff members working in our childcare centres. Together with OISE researchers, we were able to measure the impact that regular, dependable employment had on an individual s life. We asked staff to assess their own well-being in five different areas of their lives before and after they began working at LEF. What we discovered was that staff who had begun to earn an income of around $30,000 per year noticed a significant increase in quality of life in all five areas, as it relates to their financial well-being, self-confidence, access to services, human capital, and family and community relations. Compared to individuals earning less than $30,000, these staff members reported higher financial well-being, a higher level of human capital and family and community relations, according to Professor Jack Quarter, co-director of OISE s Social Economy Centre (Toronto Star, Feb 10, 2012). This underscores much of the work that LEF has been doing, demonstrating that a $30,000 a year income provides a level of stability to an individual s life. This is when a We think this shows in very real terms what a person needs to earn to feel a sense of financial and personal well-being Peter Frampton (Toronto Star, Feb 10, 2012.) single wage earner moves from merely existing to living It is when they can eat a meal in a restaurant without feeling guilty and are able to pay all their bills in the month without having to choose, says Peter Frampton, Executive Director of The Learning Enrichment Foundation. The ongoing research believed to be the first of its kind in Canada lends support to a 2008 report by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives that pegged a living wage in Toronto at $16.60 an hour, or about $33,000 a year.

5 Childcare At LEF A World of Possibility This work shows just one of the many reasons that childcare is so critical to our community. The results of the study are as relevant to our staff as to the parents we support. To be able to work without worry is an essential community service. To offer a positive environment for children s development is critical during the ages of birth to three years as their brains develop. As an economic program, childcare has proven to be cost neutral to governments. Childcare is changing: facing a perfect storm of over a decade of funding not being tied to inflation and the impacts of All-Day Kindergarten, the very real potential is that 26,000 parents in Toronto could be scrambling to find quality care over the next two years. Here at LEF we are working hard to ensure that our community has continued access to quality programs that prepare children for life and for school. To date we have converted four of our centres to care for more infants and toddlers. More will follow. We are actively working with our partners in the community to suggest practical and affordable solutions to our policy makers and politicians. Most of all we remain optimistic, with a deep commitment to the hundreds of hardworking parents who count on us each day. Employment Ontario Building your career and having a long-term plan are central components of Employment Services at LEF. As we progress with the new government model of service delivery, more and more systems are being put into place to assist people in achieving their goals and adapting to the changing nature of work.

6 THE CHANGING NATURE OF WORK 15 years ago jobs in the warehousing and logistics area were paying $12 to $18 per hour. Today, 15 years later, the jobs are paying between $11 and $15 per hour. With many employers relying upon placement agencies to meet their labour needs, more often than not the work is irregular and sporadic, with most agencies being able to place someone into short term work for about three weeks out of four. Dubbed precarious work, this trend seems well established and documented. So how are people surviving? In order for us to amend our training and integrate the range of supports that are needed, we reached out to recent graduates and current students for their thoughts. We have started to see several disturbing trends. These include: The wages that people are finding in job postings do not allow them to achieve the $30,000 threshold that allows people to increase their overall well-being. People average 4-8 hours of sleep a night, with the highest number receiving 6 hours of sleep. This is below the recommended number and can contribute to other health impacts, as well as pointing to issues of stress and lack of time to sleep. Most people surveyed live in their own residence, meaning that they must pay rent with limited funds, in addition to other necessities. People indicated that they were willing to spend between 30 minutes to 1.5 hours travelling to work, meaning that many are looking for work within the City of Toronto. Traveling to jobs in the surrounding GTA is, quite simply, not economically justifiable. People are bouncing from industry to industry in order to maintain the relationships needed to be at work each day.

7 Skills Training at LEF Learning from the Experts LEF has been learning from our clients, the experts, to implement changes to our Skills Advancement Programs. The inclusion of entrepreneurship skills, the launching of new programs such as our training for Janitors, Caretakers and Cleaners, and improving the opportunities for people to hone their skills through social enterprises are all critical components to responding to a changing world. Emerging Entrepreneurs In May 2012 we are launching an entrepreneurship program designed to support individuals who are operating or interested in operating a small homebased business. This program will offer information about business operation, provide space to sell products, offer access to our certified kitchen, and opportunities to network with and support other emerging entrepreneurs. This program is designed to offer basic business training to help individuals augment their family income using the skills and knowledge they currently possess. BAM LEF s Bicycle Assembly and Maintenance (BAM) course grew out of the industry s need for skilled bike mechanics. We now have one of the largest bicycle repair shops in Canada and a one-of-a-kind program, which has grown to support two new bicycle initiatives: BIXI Practice Makes Perfect By managing the repairs for the Toronto BIXI fleet LEF is helping to keep Torontonians active, and opening the door to new careers for BAM graduates who engage in this enterprise. Weston Wheels With the help of the Bicycle Assembly and Maintenance Program and LEF Youth services, graduates of BizCamp, LEF s youth entrepreneurship program, have opened Weston Wheels Bike Shop. The youth leaders of Weston Wheels have transformed a boardroom at LEF s 1267 Weston Road location into a vibrant storefront. Newcomer and Canadian youth are leading, or engaged in, every aspect of Weston Wheels and are developing skills in bicycle repair, customer service, leadership and entrepreneurship. Additionally, the youth leaders have connected with the 12th Division Community Police Liaison Committee to use the project as an opportunity for youth and police officers to work together, and improve the relationship between youth and police in our community.

8 @LEF Training Courses Early Childhood Assistant Janitors Caretakers and Cleaners Industrial Skills Cooks Training Bicycle Assembly and Maintenance Certifications Food Handler WHMIS Propane Handling Raymond Reach Forklift Re-Certification Counter Balance Forklift Re-Certification Walkie Forklift Re-certification Personal Interest Courses Business Analysis Essentials Project Management Essentials Project Management Preparation for Exam Bicycle Mechanics Level 1 Bicycle Mechanics Level 2 Pilots Nanny Babysitter Customer Service Online Training Warehouse Logistics Basic Online Training Social Media Courage, Resilience, Leadership Social networks are the very foundation for work search, livable communities and day-to-day supports. Settlement Services Program The dictionary defines the word SETTLE as come to rest, from the Old English word SETL meaning seat. LEF s Settlement Services Program provides a resting place for newcomers and much more Settlement Counselors know just what things a newcomer needs to deal with and in what order, from opening a bank account, to getting a driver s license, to applying for Canadian citizenship. Along the way, there are challenges, achievements and stories that newcomers share with us, and in so doing, they enrich our lives and teach us about the strength of the human spirit. Newcomers who access LEF s Settlement Services Program become a key part of the LEF family and an integral part of their communities. Language Training Program One of the basic needs of most newcomers is English language instruction. Whether it is basic literacy skills or advanced language skills to use in the workplace, their engagement and integration into Canadian society grows in leaps and bounds as they master English and put it to practical use. Whether it is conversation circles, volunteering, writing workshops, reading clubs, or knitting groups, our language training clients acquire language skills that are put to use in all aspects of their lives communicating with teachers, children, their new Canadian friends, communicating at the grocery, on the phone and in the workplace. As a client said recently, learning English has opened my mind and expanded my world. Toastmasters Toastmasters is a place where together LEF clients and staff have developed and grown, both personally and professionally. It is a community of learners, and in Toastmasters meetings our clients learn by doing, alongside LEF staff and community members who support them and cheer them on! Everyone fears public speaking but after a few Toastmasters sessions, a whole new world of possibilities opens up: giving better presentations, participating in and leading meetings; communicating with family, friends and colleagues more positively. Many newcomers and staff who participate have taken those leadership skills out into their communities, running small businesses, mentoring youth, organizing fundraisers, coaching teams, and heading up families.

9 Housing and Support Services for Newcomers (HASS-N) Among newcomers, homelessness is almost entirely hidden. Newcomers tend to access informal networks (friends and family) instead of formal housing supports due to varying degrees of close community affiliation, shame at being a burden, and the inaccessibility of housing supports. As such, they often find themselves in precarious housing situations. In partnership with Fred Victor Centre, LEF has been providing outreach and follow-up support to newcomers who face multiple challenges in accessing housing. The program has benefitted from the expertise that both organizations bring to the areas of housing, settlement, mental health supports, and employment and training resources. Clients have access to a help desk/help phone line and individualized case management services. We also work to give them a place they can call home. Student Leadership We know that our students have an immense wealth of talents and skills to share. This year has provided several opportunities for them to shine: Good Food Market Each week, we bring fresh, reasonably priced food to the heart of our building for the Market in the Town Square. This volunteer-run market addresses the poverty of time, money, and relationships that we know many clients and community members feel. The market is a place for people to shop for groceries at a price they can afford, amidst friendly faces, right where they are working or learning. The market brings life to our town square, will serve as a soft launch pad for our Emerging Entrepreneurs, and has been the centerpiece of our fall Harvest Festival. Peer Leaders Diabetes Prevention Program Twelve Peer Leaders were selected to participate in health promotion and leadership training to share information about the prevention of diabetes and overall healthy living. With support from Toronto Public Health and LEF staff, these students lead their peers through a series of workshops, discussion groups and children s activities, showing immense leadership, cooperation, creativity, and organization. LINC Summer Program This summer we have been presented with the challenge and the opportunity to do something completely different. Due to funding shifts across Canada, it has been necessary to make changes to our language training classes for the months of July and August. The summer provides the opportunity for LEF staff to help strengthen and develop the leadership skills of our students, giving them the chance to share their skills, knowledge, and expertise in a meaningful way. In the absence of formal classes, we have the opportunity to offer a wide range of peer-led summer programs and activities.

10 The Broader Community Our Dreams and Desires From February more than 200 University of Toronto students joined LEF and more than 15 community partners from across the former City of York to participate in the Third Annual Alternative Reading Week. This is an opportunity for students to learn about a new community, engage in volunteer activities, support community agencies and residents groups, and work with community members to build our community. Students were engaged in activities with children in LEF childcare centres, painting murals and walls for community agencies and a local children s group, researching employment needs, teaching salsa to youth, building PowerPoint presentations and much more. Many students also had an opportunity to interact with community members as they collected responses to a community survey. This year our centerpiece was the community-wide survey, conducted by students who went to various locations throughout the Weston/Mount Dennis community to speak with neighbourhood residents about the strengths, challenges, and gaps, in the community, and what they thinks is most necessary for the community to be healthy and livable. The responses that we received from people provide direction and confirm that much of the activity happening in the community is moving in the correct direction. The following are the trends that emerged from the community survey: What services do you need and are unable to access? 1. Recreation Services 2. Arts/Culture 3. Community Activities/Clubs and Organizations 4. Emergency Care 5. Health Care - Doctor/Health Clinic What are the largest community challenges? 1. Crime 2. Employment Opportunities 3. Poverty What do you believe would help the local economy? 1. Develop Shopping Areas 2. Build Recreation Facilities 3. Develop Independent Business What items or services do you leave the community to access? 1. Health Care 2. Food 3. Shopping What is important for you to continue living in the area? 1. Crime Rate/Public Safety 2. Friendly Neighbours 3. Cost of Living If available near your home, what items would you purchase 3-5 times a month? 1. Shopping 2. Food 3. Recreation

11 Town Square In 2009 LEF began to re-imagine our space, and the impact that it has on the people that are in our building each day. By the end of the transformation we had a 15,000 square foot gathering space, or town square, that has become a microcosm of our broader community and a place to test the ideas that are generated by the community. It is not just a space for people to come together, it s a space to safely step out of the comfort zone and try new things.

12 Moving Forward More than ever before we have an understanding of the challenges, strengths, experience, and desires and needs of the local community and our neighbours. Through a multi-year dedication to research we have developed a body of research that affirms what we intuitively have thought and heard from individuals each day. What we know: $30,000 income has a substantial impact upon people s overall well-being Local employment opportunities provide limited options There is potential for growth around local entrepreneurship and small business ownership Accessing food is challenging, as there are few options that are easily available, affordable, and are nutritious People struggle with the poverty of money, time, and relationships People are looking for opportunities to get engaged through volunteer positions, providing Canadian work experience People are leaving the community to access many goods and services, but would access items such as food, clothing, recreation activities, and children s supplies if they were available locally We have witnessed a shift from jobs to work - fewer people are able to find jobs that allows them to sustain themselves and their families, instead they are uncovering short term contracts, or working multiple part-time jobs. And LEF is responding, Each and every day. Risk taking and learning with and from the experts, our neighbours.

13 What community members think about Weston/Mount Dennis

14 Sponsors / Donors / Funders Adconion Media Group FoodShare Toronto Mr. Dairy Food Distributing Ltd. Steam Whistle Brewing AIRMILES/Airmilesshops.ca Glam Media National Post Supreme Office Supplies Limited Alterna Savings & Credit Union Limited Anonymous AOL Advertising Bell Media Bicycle Commons BIXI Toronto Brady Financial Group BrightRoll Casale Media Citizenship and Immigration Canada/Citoyenneté et Immigration Canada City of Toronto ClubLink CraveOnline Cue Digital Media Emiliano and Ana s No Frills Employment Ontario Good News Toronto Gorilla Nation Canada Gowlings LLP Greenshield Canada Hasbro Canada Corporation Human Resources and Skills Development Canada/Resources Humaines et Développement des Competences Canada Hub International Image Gear Inc. Industry Canada/Industrie Canada Irving Tissue JSL Partners Inc. M&M Meats Shops Marriott Downtown Toronto Eaton Centre Martinway Contracting Megcour Foodservice Inc. Norco Performance Bikes Nunu Educational Products Inc. O Zery Pita Break Olive Media Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities Party Packagers Redux Media Royale Tissue Rudolph s Bakery Ltd. Sandwich and Crepe Scotia Bank Second Harvest Shum Vourkoutiotis Fund, TCF Skyline Boutique, Hotels and Resorts Sparkles Home Care Service Spin Master Ltd. Standard Life Canada Sysco Toronto Tatangelo s Wholesale Fruit & Vegetables Ltd. Tex-Euro Industrial Sales Tim Hortons The Exchange Lab The Score.com/Score Mobile The Weather Network Thompson Group Toronto Community Foundation Toronto Public Health Toronto Recycling Inc. Toronto Star Transcontinental Tremor Video University of Toronto W.D. Colledge Co. Ltd. Weston Bakery Emil Wyss

15 Individual Donors Grace Addai Emmanuel Adefila Margarida Almeida Juan Alvarez Darri Beaulieu Joan Birkett Joy Boatswain John Blair Ed Boer Fergy Brown Joe Campisi Bob Churchill Sam Cole Brenda Dixon Candace Edwards Larry Edwards Peter Frampton Neserita Gascon Olesya Gleba Larry Gutstein Sylvia Hines Denise Ince Eva Karpati Arthur Kennedy Margie Kneeshaw Comfort Kyei-Boateng Ed Lamoureux Daniel Lang Eileen Longson Devon Macdonald Dr. Kathleen Macdonald James McLeod Peter Marinelli Benjamin Mbugua Marg Middleton May Millar Anna Monaco Grace Nalbanian Adele Peden Pamela Richardson Gaile Saltmiras Helen Smith Sylvia Smith Barbara Spyropoulos Alan Tonks Jennifer Venart-Sym John Wilkinson Silvana Valentone John Voorpostel Sam Waskies Michael Wilder Jane Wathenya

16 annual report 116 Industry Street Toronto, Ontario M6M 4L8 P: F:

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