Malton: A Civic Literacy Success Story in the Making

Jun 26, 2012 |

by Alejandra Bravo

Malton - Building BlocksIn one of our region’s most diverse communities, with a visible minority population that exceeds 70%, Malton is a civic literacy success story in the making for the community and for the Building Blocks program.

Building Blocks is training residents in highly diverse, low income communities to get engaged and active where they live, while understanding how governments make decisions. In Malton, we sought one partner, but found an umbrella of civic minded organizations working together. An initial target of training 60 residents has long been surpassed with 250 residents participating in civic literacy sessions.

The following four people have provided training in Malton:

  • Crystal Perryman Mark
  • Anu Randhawa
  • Sundip Dhanjal
  • Nerissa Poponne

(Meet all Building Blocks community leaders.)

Their first training session took place with a group of youth, ages 14-17. When they were challenged to “create possibility where you live,” this is what they imagined: a skate park in their community, with programming for children and benches to accommodate seniors.

Having an impact

Since their first session with youth, our Malton partners have conducted an additional training session for youth, and sessions for Caribbean seniors, Malton Neighbourhood Services’ South Asian women’s group, Malton Moms, and Malton Women’s Council. As well, they organized three training sessions at Punjabi Community Health Services. Their next focus will be delivering training in partnership with local faith communities.

They are clearly having an impact on the community. After a presentation to the Caribbean seniors’ group, the seniors got active and contacted their local councillor for the first time. She will be attending one of their upcoming meetings to hear their concerns and speak to them about future changes for Malton.

Leaders in Malton will keep working over the summer, working with a school guidance counsellor and parents to keep youth engaged. Their summer work will lead up to a presentation about youth-focused issues at Peel regional council planned for September 12.

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Building Blocks is in part funded by