Denise Squire
Executive Director 
Telephone # (519) 664-3794
Charitable # 131597163 RR0001

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Our rural, community-governed health centre leads collaboratively in providing culturally sensitive programs and services: primary health care, illness prevention, and health promotion.

Program Story

Low German Mennonite Literacy and Skills Collaborative 

The Collaborative has developed to include many partner agencies who work together to support this broad initiative. There are currently 8 agencies involved including Old Colony Clergy. The Collaborative works effectively together to support literacy programs, to share resources and to advocate for this population. Partner agencies include:

  • Mennonite Central Committee Ontario
  • Kindred Credit Union
  • Waterloo Region District School Board (WRDSB)
  • Woolwich Community Services
  • The Literacy Group of Waterloo Region
  • House of Friendship
  • Old Order Clergy
  • Woolwich Community Health Centre

The Linwood Family English School has offered a rural, family-based literacy program since April 2008. This culturally sensitive program has expanded since 2008 to offer a wide range of adult classes, a children’s program for all elementary school aged children, babysitting, and we partner with WRDSB to offer an evening program for teens.

Each year the Linwood Family English School registered more than 50 adults and 40 children in the program. There are 7 levels of instruction for adults, 3 program groups for children, and babysitting. The children;s programs are enjoyed by about 30-35 children from week to week.

The ULearn program is a new program offered at the Lindwood Family English School. It began in 2014 and supports teens to complete high school credits with teacher support for those enrolled in the ULearn program with the WRDSB.

In 2014 we began offering the summer club program, which was implemented for the past 2 summers through the support of the Shantz Mennonite Church Bequest. This program provides a literacy based summer program for Low German Mennonite children offered in 3 rural locations. This program allows children to participate in a structured program over the summer with instruction in reading, music, art and physical activities.

The Collaborative are thankful for financial support over the past years from The Kitchener and Waterloo Community Foundation, Woolwich Fund, Kindred Credit Union, The Ontario Trillium Foundation, Ministry of Education, Maple Syrup Festival, and Shantz Mennonite Church Bequest Fund.

Donation Impact

  • A $100 donation provides 5 literacy workbooks and supplies for 5 adult learners
  • A $60 donation provides a literacy instructor for one evening of instruction for 6-8 learners
  • A $40 donation provides translation services for one evening program
  • A $20 donation provides a literacy assessment for one prospective adult learner

Giving Opportunity

This program does not receive any base, ongoing funding and therefore relies on granting bodies, donations, in-kind contributions from partners, and volunteers to deliver the program. You can support the “English School” by making a one-time or ongoing donation, or by volunteering as a literacy instructor or childcare provider.