When children succeed, we break the cycle.


When Children Succeed, We Break the Cycle

A blueprint for success in New Brunswick schools.

Project Summary

For more than two decades, the Business Community Anti-Poverty Initiative (BCAPI) has worked methodically to break the cycle of generational poverty in Saint John. We’re making progress – poverty rates in the city are falling, as are the numbers of people on social assistance.

But child poverty remains stubbornly high, particularly in some inner-city neighbourhoods where more than 70 per cent of children live below the poverty line.

We need your support to break through. In partnership with the province and school officials, we’re embarking on our most ambitious project. When Children Succeed, We Break the Cycle is a three-year demonstration project, launched in September 2018 and designed to help 1,000 students from the city’s poorest neighbourhoods to succeed in school and pave the way for New Brunswick to improve education outcomes. Educational achievement is the best way to break the cycle, with highest return on investment.

Seven elementary schools that serve Saint John’s poorest neighbourhoods are the project sites. These schools are being provided with additional staff, expertise and resources to help the students, from Kindergarten to Grade 2, overcome learning barriers caused by deep poverty and master the basic academic skills - Early Literacy and Numeracy - that are essential for progressive school success. Consistent research shows children from this level of poverty enter school so far behind their peers; ‘they are lost before they begin’ without intervention. And if they do not learn to read by the end of grade 2, they are unlikely to graduate. This project will give the students, and their families, intensive individualized coaching to ready the children for Grade 3 and beyond.

This project builds from a successful pilot (2001 to 2011) and Saint John’s 20 years of experience building partnerships to enrich the children’s learning opportunities so that they can succeed, from cradle to career. The pilot school, Prince Charles, serves a neighbourhood with an 85% child poverty rate, and demonstrated a significant increase in student achievement. Standardized tests by Grade 7 jumped by 106 per cent in writing and 121 per cent in reading from 2006 to 2011. The high school graduation rate for the neighborhood students has risen - from 41% (2011) to 75% (2017).

It is our expectation that the project will prove to be a model for success that can be adopted not just across Saint John but also throughout New Brunswick to improve outcomes for all students.

BCAPI is raising $1.5 million, having successfully leveraged another $3 million from the provincial government. We invite you to invest with us. Helping every child succeed is both a social and economic imperative. Working together, we will drive the changes that are essential for prosperity for our children, our city and province.

We welcome your questions and thank you for investing in children’s education success. Together we are building a better future for our children, our city and province.


To support this project, please fill out the attached pledge card.

Project Update

The first update for the When Children Succeed, We Break the Cycle of Poverty project is complete and available below for review. We are most pleased with the progress thus far, and excited about the potential of this wonderful initiative, funded in partnership by the New Brunswick Department of Education and Early Childhood Development and Anglophone School District - South, Living SJ, and the generous donors who responded to BCAPI’s request for support.

Additional recommended reading, should you be interested, includes:

Thank you to our sponsors


Brice Belyea • Canadian National Railway • Commercial Properties Limited • David and Peggy Case • Delta Saint John • Derek and Jacqueline Oland • Duke Creative Collective • East Point Properties • Emera NB • Frank McKenna • Gregor and Charlotte Hope • Harrison McCain Foundation • Innovatia • J.D Irving, Limited • J. Scott McCain • Jim Lutes • John Adams • John B. Wheatley & Associates • KPIT Infosystems • Lawson Creamer • Lino Celeste • MacMurray Foundation • Moosehead Breweries • Pannell Family Foundation • Paulette Hicks • Port Saint John • The RBC Foundation • Rob Belliveau • Roxanne Fairweather • Saint John Energy • The Sir James Dunn Foundation • Sisters of Charity I.C. • Somerset Investments Ltd. • Stantec • Stewart McKelvey • TimberTop Adventures • The Windsor Foundation