École élémentaire catholique Saints-Anges students help launch the 10 week Partici-Patrick program Friday. Photo provided.
Patrick 4 Life Foundation
Two-hundred Patrick 4 Life (P4L) class champions in grades 3-8, from all four district school boards, joined at École élémentaire catholique Saints-Anges to launch the 10 week Partici-Patrick program educating youth about HIV and AIDS.
P4L’S Youth 4 Youth leaders, a committee of secondary school teenagers whose mission is to engage their peers in activities designed to heighten the awareness of HIV and AIDS, were the Masters of Ceremony and got class champions, teachers and parents active and excited for the start of the program.
“We taught the class champions a cheer for Patrick and for Zero AIDS. They can now bring this cheer back to their classmates and we can all do it together at the P4L Day of Champions in June” said Kealey Ducharme, a grade 10 Youth 4 Youth leader from St. Joseph-Scollard Hall Catholic Secondary School.
As part of the ten week in-school program, elementary students use their daily physical activity time to work towards achieving a 40K marathon. Students log their progress on their own Partici-Patrick scorecard.
In the classroom, teachers facilitate discussions on virtues and values such as respect, acceptance and compassion along with age-appropriate facts about HIV and AIDS. This leads to discussions regarding the importance of making healthy lifestyle choices.
On Monday June 9th, over 2,000 students from grades 3-8, from the four local school boards, will head to the Steve Omischl Sports Field Complex in North Bay to run/walk the last 2.2K of their marathon together.
On this “Day of Champions” Youth 4 Youth will lead activities and there will be a variety of entertainment from secondary schools.
One of the goals of Partici-Patrick is to show students how powerful their voices can be and that together, they can make a difference.
This multifaceted program is a fun and unique way for students to become aware of the strengths they have within them and how using these strengths, can help prevent the spread of HIV and AIDS.
In its 8th year, the Partici-Patrick program has involved over 16,000 elementary students in and around North Bay.
Three research studies (Boyce 2009, McCabe 2012, OHTN 2013) demonstrate clearly with evidence-based data, that students who participate in the Partici-Patrick program are superior to other students in terms of acquiring the knowledge and skills to equip them to make healthy life style choices.