New Program to Teach Area Youth to Take Smart Risks
Kingston EMC - New program to teach area youth to take smart risks
Thu May 24 2012
Byline: Kristen Coughlar
EMC News - Since 2003 Kingston Partners for a Safe Community (KPSC) has helped to bring the SMARTRISK No Regrets Live, a one-hour travelling road show dedicated to injury awareness and prevention among teenagers, to area schools.
This September, the local organization, in conjunction with SMARTRISK, will expand its injury prevention efforts in our schools with the addition of the SMARTRISK No Regrets Leadership Program. The school-based, peer leadership program will seek to teach teenagers to take smart risks while enjoying themselves, in order to avoid permanent injury.
"We've been monitoring injury statistics with the CRISP database at the hospital and percentage wise youth actually get injured at a higher frequency than adults do," explained Wiebke Wilkens, president of KPSC.
The hope is that the SMARTRISK No Regrets Leadership Program will help to decrease the high incidence of injury among youth.
"Risks are a reality of everything we do every day, so we don't want to discourage people from being physically active and getting involved in different activities and having fun, but there's a way of having fun with moderating the risk," Wilkens said.
Area students will continue to receive the SMARTRISK No Regrets Live show. Two students and one teacher from six area schools will be selected to receive training in order to implement the SMARTRISK No Regrets Leadership Program.
From there it will be up to each school to decide the prevention programs they wish to put in place, whether related to alcohol and drug abuse, texting while driving, sports, bullying, etc.
"It's going to change one year to the next," Wilkens explained, noting that the program is designed for the students to pass on their training to a new set of students the following year.
By offering the SMARTRISK No Regrets Leadership Program in combination with the SMARTRISK No Regrets Live show, the hope is that the programs' message will have a more lasting impact. The five messages of SMARTRISK are buckle up, look first, wear the gear, get trained, and drive sober.
"All the research shows that the more often the message is delivered the more likely it is to stick," Wilkens said.
The program will be implemented in six area schools this September thanks to funding from the United Way, City of Kingston, CN Rail and the Community Foundation for Kingston and Area. So far, Holy Cross, Regi, La Salle, LCVI and Frontenac have come on board.
Wilkens noted that the SMARTRISK No Regrets Leadership program has seen great success in other area markets, including Ottawa and a number of communities in northern Ontario.New program to teach area youth to take smart risks - Infomart 12-05-24 9:42 AM
"We are hoping that by having this program we can help make Kingston a safer community all together."
For more information about Kingston Partners for a Safe Community visit (www.kpsc.ca») For more on SMARTRISK go to (www.smartrisk.ca»)
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