Local Project Helps Youth Become Champions at School

by NationTalk on February 13, 20082128 Views

Tuesday February 12, 2008

Thunder Bay, ON – Dilico Anishinabek Family Care (Dilico) together with The Children’s Aid Society of the District of Thunder Bay (Thunder Bay CAS) hosted a gala dinner to officially launch the Thunder Bay Crown Ward Education Championship Team Project this evening at Fort William Historical Park.While funding for the pilot project was announced back in summer 2007, tonight, the championship team is happy to announce more details about this project aimed at improving educational outcomes for local Crown Wards through motivational strategies and community outreach.

“Tonight, we’ve brought together our community partners and youth participants to celebrate the project’s successes to date,” explained Rachel Adduono, Permanent Care Manager, Dilico. “We’re also here to announce what exciting things we have planned for the youth, educators, foster parents and other key players involved.”

“Motivational speaker Dave Jones is our keynote speaker this evening,” added Gail Quirion, Manager of Residential Services, Thunder Bay CAS. “He presents around the world, spreading the message that it’s okay to be confident and that education is part of a healthy lifestyle- a very important message for the youth here tonight.”

From February to June 2008, Crown Wards will participate in a series of workshops on building self-esteem, confidence and mentorship skills.

“Many of our older local Crown Wards recently participated in a workshop on how to draw on their personal strengths and talents to become successful role models in their schools, circle of friends and communities,” explained Quirion. “Learning how to be proud and confident of who you are and what you do, is a key message we are teaching these youth, who will in turn, spread this message to younger Crown Wards and kids in their communities.”

“I’ve learned a lot so far on how to really relate with younger kids, how to interact and motivate them,” said Bryan Wylie, a former Crown Ward participating in the project. “I don’t think there is a youth program like this- one that really involves youth, letting them share their ideas on what they need to succeed in their education.”

A second component of this project provides foster parents, educators, service providers and community members with the opportunity to learn about the issues and barriers facing Crown Wards and how to help, and motivate Crown Wards to overcome obstacles and succeed at school.

“We’re following a train the trainers approach to provide the people involved in a Crown Ward’s education with the knowledge and skills they need to help these youth succeed in school and in life,” said Adduono. “Thunder Bay CAS and Dilico staff are receiving training on how to teach about the issues facing Crown Wards and how to help encourage them to work through these issues.”

Funded by Ontario’s Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities, Ministry of Children and Youth Services and Ministry of Education, the Thunder Bay Crown Ward Education Championship Team Project’s partners include Dilico, Thunder Bay CAS, Lakehead University, Confederation College, Lakehead Public Schools, Thunder Bay Catholic School Board and Conseil scolaire de district catholique des Aurores boréales.

“It has always been a priority of this project to build stronger relationships between all partners involved,” stated Adduono. “Stronger community partnerships will help transform this pilot project into a sustainable program,” added Quirion.

For more information please contact:

Rachel Adduono
Permanent Care Manager
Dilico Anishinabek Family Care
(807) 623-8511

Gail Quirion
Manager of Residential Services
District of Thunder Bay Children’s Aid Society
(807) 343-6100

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