Quebec Federation of Home and School Associations
The Quebec Federation of Home and School Associations, Inc.
is an independent, incorporated, not for profit volunteer organization dedicated to enhancing the education and general well-being of children and youth.
The Quebec Federation of Home and School Associations Inc.
promotes the involvement of parents, students, educators and the community at large in the advancement of learning and acts as a voice for parents.
In 1944, the Quebec Provincial Council of Home and Schools merged with the Greater Montreal Federation of Home and School Associations to form the Quebec Federation of Home and School Associations (QFHSA). Forty-Five (45) established Home and School associations, some already 25 years old, came together under the leadership of an outstanding group of volunteers, many of whom were prominent leaders in their communities and were infused with a strong social conscience.
Home and School Creed 1947
That it should learn first-hand all school conditions and all community conditions affecting the child. That it should be a co-operative, non-partisan, non-sectarian, non-commercial effort to produce Canadian citizens who shall be capable of perpetuating the best of our national life. That it brings the men and women of the community into touch with one another, thus helping to break down prejudice and misunderstandings, and develops a common interest in the home, the school and the community.
First up on the agenda to address were issues related to the health and welfare of children, followed by fostering a sense of citizenship in Canadian youth, especially for new immigrants. In 1959, the Federation launched Operation Bootstraps, an ambitious study on the need for education reform in Quebec. When the government of Quebec introduced a Royal Commission of Inquiry on Education, known as the Parent Commission, the Federation was ready to present a 45,000-word brief, comprising seventeen reports, with 176 recommendations, which was praised for its outstanding coherence and insight. Many of the Commissions recommendations echoed the Federation’s brief, one of which was to set up a Department of Education. (Bill 60, 1964)
The late 60’s saw QFHSA, through its Education Committee, take on an increasing role in responding to the emerging governmental language and education legislation. Countless briefs, position statements, resolutions and actions to both the provincial and federal governments over the years have stressed the rights of parents to choose the language of instruction for their children’s education.
At the grassroots level, parents were engaged at their local school, bringing in nutrition, physical activity and cultural programs to enhance education. They championed literacy projects, hot lunch programs and manned school libraries in response to budget cutbacks.
Today, the Quebec Federation of Home and School Associations is still organized on a local school basis, with a network of associations extending from the Gaspè in the east, Gatineau in the west, La Tuque in the north and North Hatley in the south. Our members assist teachers in the classroom and resource centers; they staff libraries, help supervise field trips, organize after-school extracurricular activities and, through various fundraising activities, provide schools with improved libraries, computers, lab equipment, music and art programs and opportunities for the wider community to come together through spaghetti suppers and Family Fun Days. In many and various ways, our parent volunteers not only enrich the educational experience of the children in the school but also contribute to the preservation and vitality of the English community surrounding them.
This year, QFHSA celebrates 75 years of parental involvement in education and Home and School, as a social movement, celebrates 100 years of activism in Quebec. These hard-working women and men, from over the decades, have seem many changes to the educational environment in schools, but have held fast to the main driving force of Home and School, which is to ensure the health and well-being of children and youth by foster strong connections between the home and the school.
100 years of volunteer parental involvement! A History of Achievement, indeed!