The Cornerstone Project

The Cornerstone Project

Latest news:

Short term projects are on the move!

1. The Durand Urban Farm Market at Central will run for 10 consecutive Wednesday evenings beginning June 28. Hours are from 3:00-7:00 and will feature produce and fine foods from local urban farmers. Join us every week in the gardens of Central. Facebook page.
2. Central Public School has the highest percentage of Syrian refugees in Hamilton, and we can make them welcome by providing food and friendship. We will be planning meal events in partnership with the school, so stay posted for anticipated dates. In the meantime, we are committing ourselves to helping with a reading program. Please click here or see below to find out how you may help.
3. Wesley Urban Ministries has moved their mobile workforce into two rooms at Central.

Reading Helpers at Central Elementary School

Central Elementary School, located on Bay St at Bold St., is a welcoming, multi-cultural school offering excellence in education to approximately 300 students. The students and families they serve come from 30 different nations from around the world, with 29 languages other than English spoken at home, making Central a wonderfully diverse environment in which to learn. Student achievement and ongoing school improvement is important and the school’s goal is to continue to improve reading comprehension across all grade levels.

The school has a need for adults to help students with reading English during school hours. There are 9 classes for students in Grades 1 through 5. Class sizes are from 20-25 students.

64% of the students have English as a second language. The most common first language is Arabic.

The helper would either be located in a common area, such as the library, and students would visit for help with reading English, or the helper would visit designated classes.

Volunteers are required from 1 to 3 hours a day during the period from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.  Note that help is not offered to students during nutrition breaks (10.30 – 11 a.m. and 12.30 – 1.30 p.m.)

You can volunteer for one day or more per week. The school prefers that volunteers be able to commit to helping for a complete term – September to December, January to March break, March break to June – but this is not mandatory.

Qualifications include the ability to relate well with children between the ages of 5 and 10, and a good deal of patience! Volunteers are required to have a Vulnerable Sector certificate.

If you are interested in this opportunity to help in the local community, please talk to or email Jim Dunlop (jimdunlop63@gmail.com Tel 905-528-8166)

 

Please let us know if you are interested in becoming involved.

Background:

On January 20th, 2016 a number of people from the congregation met to discuss how Central could be used to bless the surrounding community through sharing space in the building. During the conversation three main themes emerged: children and youth; community gathering space; and community services.

1. Children and youth: the need for affordable (not for profit) daycare and/or pre-school space in the neighbourhood. This is the church’s first priority. Currently, many families in the area are driving up the mountain to find affordable day care. The demand for affordable child care is great. A Presbyterian-run daycare or pre-school would therefore concretely help families of varying incomes near the church. There is ample space for this ministry on the top floor of the Sunday School wing.

2. A gathering space: for the socially and economically diverse Durand neighbourhood: The church is located only two blocks from an area that houses the highest density of Ontario Works recipients in the province. In contrast, four blocks from the church are houses listed for $2-4 million dollars. We believe offering Christian hospitality in the form of a gathering space for the community will lead to relationships where people from various walks of life are transformed by being together. This gathering space would take the form of a cafe in the church, which would train and employ the underemployed, and would be based on the model of a similar cafe in an Anglican Church Hall in Port Colborne, Ontario. We have the space for such a cafe on the main floor of the Sunday School wing.

3. Community services: needs in the neighbourhood for a health clinic, tutoring, the Central Presbyterian Church School of Music (professional musicians here would offer lessons to children who cannot afford them), Alcoholics Anonymous, and other needs. These would be on the bottom floor of the Sunday wing.

At its February 2016 meeting Session approved moving forward with discussion, planning and visioning for a program of this nature, including a steering committee.

A committee was formed in June of 2016 consisting of Adele Pierre (chair), Emma Reilly McKay, Tabitha Marshall and Elsje Zwart. The committee has looked at the feasibility of a number of ministries and is proposing a number of initiatives for the immediate future including a snack program at Central school and a farmer’s market one afternoon a week at the church. Please contact one of the committee members for more information on how you might become involved, or use the contact form on this page.