School-going heroes
Students recognized for their safety messages

by Derek Neary
Northern News Services

NNSL (Apr 03/98) - The consensus seems to be that kids are more effective at getting messages across to their peers than are authority figures.

Those students who excelled at communicating the importance of safety to their friends and schoolmates were recognized through the Heroes Scholarship Program at the Yellowknife Fire Hall Wednesday afternoon.

Dozens of students received cheques and plaques for their persuasive posters, skits, videos and Web sites.

"There's a lot of very talented people out there. We're very proud of the response we got," said deputy fire chief Mike Lowing. "I'm amazed by what the kids did. There's really some powerful stuff."

A group of 16 Grade 9 students from St. Patrick high school made a 15-minute video featuring scenes illustrating the risks of drinking and driving, walking on thin ice, sliding down the bannister, fooling around at heights and unprotected sex.

"They liked the video," Eddie Peart said of his peers' response. "They're a little jealous of the money we'd win."

The Students Against Drunk Driving from Sir John Franklin have put together a 40-minute skit that they will integrate with presentations by police and the fire department.

SADD is focusing on boat safety, wearing safety gear and driving sober. They'll reinforce their point with pamphlets, balloons and accompanying mascots from the high schools.

"We want to keep it fun and interesting," said

Gwen Young, a teacher-adviser at Sir John.

Young said the younger students look up to the older teens.

Principal Anne-Mieke Cameron added, "It's powerful and it's really catching on."

It caught on without exception at Range Lake North school, where vice-principal Adam Bunin said he was "extremely pleased" with the high level of participation in the program.

Liz Baile, a student support consultant for Yellowknife Catholic Schools, said the inaugural event was "very worthwhile." She also acknowledged the commitment and dedication on the part of co-ordinators Mike Lowing and Dennis MacAskill. Tim Hortons, RTL Robinson, Stanton Regional Hospital and BHP Diamonds sponsored the program.

"For the first year, I was really impressed with the results," she said. "Hopefully, we keep this momentum going."

Top of pageDiscussion boardSearch