MONTREAL, QUEBEC--(Marketwired - Aug. 16, 2016) - Welcome Hall Mission will today host its 15th annual back-to-school event - Rentrée la tête haute - for Montreal underprivileged children. With the average cost of fees and supplies averaging over $500 per child, the event is an important one for families struggling to make ends meet. This year, the mission will provide 2,600 children with new pairs of shoes and backpacks filled with grade-appropriate supplies. In addition, families will benefit from sale prices at the mission's thrift store, La Boutique (proceeds support the mission's skill acquisition program). It is estimated that about one in five children live below the poverty level in Montreal.

Breaking the Poverty Cycle

Rentrée la tête haute also kicks off an entire year of programs designed to support the success of children in the South-West district of Montreal. In collaboration with families, the Children's Services team accompanies children in their social and personal development through a variety of programs tailored to their needs including academic support, summer programming, camps and special events. These programs are designed to specifically target children with learning difficulties, attention disorders, hyperactivity problems or conduct disorders and new immigrant children in the francization process. Throughout the year, many of the children receiving backpacks will also benefit from the daily delivery of lunch boxes provided by the Youth Micro-enterprise Project(1).

"On top of providing supplies and meals to help children concentrate and focus, we work with them on a daily basis and we reinforce their self-esteem and their autonomy through educational projects, explains Hans St-Just, head of the Academic Support program. Our programs are developed to intertwine, so that when the kids are playing at summer camps or during an afterschool activity, they are not just having fun, they are actually developing relationships with intervention workers and with other children that will then help them succeed during the school year."

CEO/Executive Director Cyril Morgan thanks the thousands of individual donors and hundreds of volunteers who make the event possible, as well as all the corporate sponsors, Aldo, Bentley, CCM, Fan Club des Canadiens, Disney Voluntears, Hydro Quebec, Lepage, SSQ and Staedtler for their partnership. "By working together, we are making an important impact in the lives of children and their families. Education and staying in school are critical factors in breaking the cycle of poverty."

Backpacks will be distributed to families who have previously registered for the program from 9 AM to 4 PM on August 16 and 17 at Welcome Hall Mission located on Acorn Street in St-Henri. During these two fun-filled days, children will also take part in various learning activities, will discover how to make slime with the team from Mad Science, meet players from the Montreal Impact and be encouraged to excel at school by Anthony Imperioli and the irrepressible Nonna Maria. Firefighters from the Montreal fire department who will teach children about fire safety and entertainer Micky Farkas round out the list of special guests.

About Welcome Hall Mission

Established in 1892, Welcome Hall Mission has become the largest doorway to help for Montrealers in need. Many programs are available to support the homeless, young single mothers, families, children and youth. Welcome Hall Mission aims at giving them hope through concrete actions and effective solutions to help them improve their lives and reintegrate into society.

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1 The Youth Micro-enterprise Project was implemented in another service of Welcome Hall Mission in which youth ages 15 to 30 learned how to cook in a skills acquisition program. The meals prepared were then delivered to children's services daily.

Contact Information:

Sophie Allard, APR
514-499-3030, ext. 771

Kathryn Stephens
Senior Manager of Development and Public Relations
514-523-5288 ext. 303