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May 11, 2006
City celebrates safety successes, ranging from making films to walking home from school
  
At a special ceremony today, Mayor David Miller joined project sponsors and over 35 community organizations to celebrate the award-winning contributions of five recipients of the 2006 Mayor’s Community Safety Awards. The event, which was hosted by Jemeni of media sponsor FLOW 93.5, also featured the first Community Safety Best Practice Fair, which showcased the activities and successes of community groups across Toronto.

“We’re working hard at the City to make our communities safe, but we can’t do it alone,” said Mayor Miller. “These awards give us a chance to reflect on and to celebrate the great work of communities and neighbours across the city who share our commitment to making Toronto a safe city for everyone to enjoy.”

Also helping to present the awards was lead sponsor Bell Canada. “Bell Canada is pleased to sponsor the Mayor’s Community Safety Awards, which are now in their fifth year. We are very pleased to leverage the commitment and initiative of Toronto’s citizens and our municipal leaders in taking control of the community’s well-being,” said Renato Discenza, Senior Vice President, Enterprise Sales for Bell Canada.

The five recipients of the 2006 Mayor’s Community Safety Awards were:

CHOICE Apprenticeship, a partnership between Toronto Community Housing, Carpenter’s Local 27 Joint Apprenticeship Training Trust Fund Inc., Housing Services Inc. and the YMCA Employment and Community Services. Through apprenticeships in the construction industry, youth from Toronto’s priority neighbourhoods can explore potential employment opportunities, gain valuable work experience and build their self-esteem and confidence.

Empowered Student Partnerships, organized by a group of students at Father Henry Carr Secondary School in Rexdale. This group is creating learning opportunities within their school to focus on anti-violence, to show their peers how they can all play a part in making their school a safe and welcoming environment. Creative program examples include workshops on healthy relationships and protecting yourself from bullying, and the Peacemakers Book Club.

Real Alternatives Program - or RAP - developed by For Youth Initiative. This project uses hip hop culture to help young black men in the Keele and Eglinton community develop skills and reach their potential through filmmaking, song writing and educational workshops. A recent project highlight was the production of a documentary, “The Forgotten City Within the City,” and a CD recording of conscious hip hop.

Safewalk, a program by the Toronto Kiwanis Boys and Girls Club, ensures a safe walk home from school for 310 children in Regent Park, Moss Park and Cabbagetown. Children at seven public schools are matched with older youth who act as their personal escort to make sure that they arrive safely at after-school programs throughout the community. Youth escorts serve as role models for their buddies, and are developing leadership skills that can lead to future employment.

The Wen-Do Women’s Self Defence Program, developed by Wen-Do and Education Wife Assault, offers a modified version of traditional self-defence training to women with disabilities. This innovative program is helping women break through isolation and dispel the stereotype that women with disabilities are defenceless. More than 60 women have completed the program, and over half are taking further advanced training to become course facilitators.

The annual Mayor’s Community Safety Awards is organized by the Community Safety Secretariat, the City unit responsible for implementing the Community Safety Plan. Award winners were selected by a panel of community and business representatives and Secretariat staff. Along with a $2,500 cash award to be used to promote community safety, each winning organization received a commemorative plaque to recognize their outstanding achievements.

The awards are open to groups, individuals and organizations located in the City of Toronto that provide support to Toronto residents. Initiatives must have taken place within the past two years.


Media contacts:

Don Wanagas
Office of the Mayor
416-338-7119

Mohammed Nakhooda
Bell Canada
416-581-4287

Marg Stanowski
Executive Director
Operation Springboard
416-977-0089 ext. 222

Maya Roy
Toronto Social Development
Finance & Administration
416-392-8661
416-525-6732 (cell)


 

 

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