Port of Montreal is pleased that the Samajam School Retention project has been introduced at Irénée-Lussier school in the Mercier-

Hochelaga-Maisonneuve borough, a neighbouring community of the port.

Some 130 intellectually challenged students aged 12 to 21 attend the school. The Samajam program allows students to develop their self-esteem, their sense of belonging to their school and community, and their zest for learning through the use of music. Students participate in weekly percussion, singing and dance sessions, and then stage a show at the end of the year.

Port of Montreal has been a proud Samajam partner for four years. “At the port, we believe it is important to contribute to the well-being of communities adjacent to our operations,” said Sophie Roux, Director of Communications for Montreal Port Authority. “Encouraging children to stay in school is a key component of our community investment program because it contributes to employability and the development of tomorrow’s workforce.”

In addition, the Samajam project has been implemented at St-Clément school, also located in a neighbouring community of the port.

Thanks to the continued support of Port of Montreal and other organizations, the Samajam School Retention project has grown substantially in four years: the number of students involved in the program has increased to 2,900 from 200. The project is now recognized as a model for academic achievement throughout Quebec.

Ms. Roux congratulated Samajam founder Louis Bellemare for launching the project. “From the outset, the Samajam School Retention program has impressed us with its innovative musical model to fight school dropouts in the Mercier-Hochelaga-Maisonneuve district,” Ms. Roux said. “The benefits provided to our youth are concrete and never cease to amaze us.”