From ‘Yes 2 Know’

RCMP brings drug awareness to students in the Alberni Valley.

Walk the Coast business manager Michael Sutherland

Walk the Coast business manager Michael Sutherland

Port Alberni kids transitioning between elementary and high school will get a burst of drug awareness thanks to a new two-day program.

Yes 2 Know is a province-wide RCMP-led initiative that seeks to give youth the knowledge about how to say ‘no to drugs’ now.

The program goes beyond the DARE education that Grade 5 students receive.

The Port Alberni Yes 2 Know edition takes place from April 5-6 and is a partnership between the RCMP, the school district parent advisory council and sponsors like Valley Vision and Brent Manson’s office.

“It’s the Youth Empowerment Summit. ‘Know’ is for knowledge and we’ve broken that down further to the word ‘now.’ It’s important for kids to ‘know this stuff now’ so that they can make healthy choices now as opposed to waiting,’ said Central Island RCMP Cpl. Dave Cusson.

Cusson, who used to be based in Port Alberni, is with the drugs and organized crime awareness service in Nanaimo.

“That’s what the convention is about. It’s a highlight to kids at their vulnerable times, pre- and post-transition.”

The two-day event targets Grade 7s, Grade 8s and their parents.

“The first day is for all the Grade 7s in the school district. They’ll be participating in a full day of prevention education,” said Cusson.

“They’ll be going through a variety of keynote speakers, fun activities, food, they’ll all get a t-shirt, there will be prizes… it’s meant to be a highlight of their grade.”

Grade 7s will listen to keynote speaker Jesse Miller.

“He’s an expert in the world of online citizenship—how kids represent themselves in an online environment.”

Cusson said it’s important to get the Grade 7s before they move onto high school.

But its important for Grade 8s to learn the information too.

“They’re already post transition so their day is a little different,” said Cusson.

Some of the keynotes will stay the same, however.

“There will be a keynote about brains and brain development and another keynote talking about social belonging.”

Grade 8s will get educated on marijuana by criminology interns working with Cusson.

“They’ve been specially trained to talk about marijuana and decision making,” Cusson said.

“The Grade 8s have identified that that’s an issue—that drug (marijuana) is really starting to show itself.”

But Cusson wants to educate the entire community, not just the students, by hosting a community night on April 5 at 6 p.m.

“I’ve partnered with the district parent advisory council and they’re hosting a parent night for the community.”

The three-hour event will feature community resources and keynote speakers.

“Gary Anaka, the brain guy, is going to talk about how to connect to the teen brain,” said Cusson. Parents will also hear from Jesse Miller about how to create boundaries and expectations in their children’s online usage.

While drug awareness programs already exist for students in Port Alberni, Cusson sees this as a way to make a bigger impact.

“There is a drug prevention continuum going on here. DARE is our foundational drug awareness piece and then we build a piece after that called Being True and the [Yes2Know] convention kicks in in the middle,” said Cusson. The event is meant to spur on conversation outside of just the two days.

“After that, we have post-convention strategies for the kids in Grade 9, 10, 11.”

For more information, visit www.bcy2k.com/port-alberni or www.facebook.com/yes2know.

reporter@albernivalleynews.com

facebook.com/albernivalleynews

twitter.com/alberninews

 

Just Posted

AW Neill Elementary School in Port Alberni. (NEWS FILE PHOTO)
SD70 chooses new name for AW Neill School in Port Alberni

New name honours Nuu-chah-nulth Peoples’ connection to region

Douglas Holmes, current Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District chief administrative officer, is set to take on that position at the Regional District of Nanaimo come late August. (Submitted photo)
Regional District of Nanaimo’s next CAO keen to work on building partnerships

Douglas Holmes to take over top administrator role with RDN this summer

Ron MacDonald fields questions at a news conference in Halifax on Sept. 27, 2011. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan
Finding ‘comfortable’ indigenous monitor tough task in Tofino-area shooting death

Julian Jones case hampered by difficulty finding a civilian comfortable with privacy protocols

Port Alberni RCMP officer in command Insp. Eric Rochette presents longtime community policing volunteer Louie Aumair with a OIC appreciation certificate. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)
Port Alberni RCMP honour longtime volunteer

First responders receive support from broader community

The Dock+ is located on Harbour Road in Port Alberni. (SUSAN QUINN / Alberni Valley News)
PROGRESS 2021: Port Alberni’s food hub still growing a year later

The Dock hopes to open a retail store on Alberni’s busy waterfront

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

“They will never be forgotten, every child matters,” says Sioux Valley Chief Jennifer Bone in a video statement June 1. (Screen grab)
104 ‘potential graves’ detected at site of former residential school in Manitoba

Sioux Valley Dakota Nation working to identify, repatriate students buried near former Brandon residential school

The Queen Victoria statue at the B.C. legislature was splattered with what looks like red paint on Friday. (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff)
Queen Victoria statue at B.C. legislature vandalized Friday

Statue splattered with red paint by old growth forest proponents

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Most Read