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Celebrating success at Sakku school

Darrell Greer
Northern News Services
Published Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Students and staff at Sakku School in Coral Harbour concluded a successful year with a pair of program celebrations this past month.

The school gathered to acknowledge the efforts of 20 Grade 6 students who completed the RCMP's Aboriginal Shield program (ASP).

Sakku's Grade 8 students had completed the program the previous month.

The ASP is a youthdriven program that provides substance-abuse prevention and healthy-lifestyles coaching to aboriginal communities.

The program helps enable aboriginal youth to gain a sense of cultural connection and pride, while learning to make informed choices about drug use and related activities. The ASP's culturally relevant teachings can be adapted to fit individual community needs and complement existing local initiatives

Being a communityled, policeassisted program helps ensure its sustainability and consistency in communities where it's implemented.

The ASP consists of two 12lesson manuals for Grades 5/6 and 7/8.

It also includes manuals to equip community facilitators with the tools and background information they need to deliver high quality prevention activities.

Sakku's Lisom TamEveleigh and Dismerees Shimout went to Rankin Inlet for the ASP's week-long training.

They then returned to Coral to implement the ASP with Grade 6 and 8 students.

Tam-Eveleigh, who organized the celebration and prepared Chinese food for the event, said bringing the ASP to Coral would not have been possible without funding from Public Health Strategies.

She said the Grade 6 students readied the gym for the ceremony and cleaned up afterwards.

"The celebration was a real team effort," said Tam-Eveleigh.

"We owe thanks to Christa and Kayleen Emiktowt and Shantea Bruce for making pizza for the event, as well as to the parents who attended to support the kids.

"Dismerees interpreted for principal Mike Gilbert, and explained the program to family members in Inuktitut.

"RCMP Cpl. Paul Zanon and Const. Brian Ward presented the certificates of achievement."

Sakku breakfast program coordinator Steve Allan organized an appreciation brunch for volunteers who kept the program going.

Tam-Eveleigh said many students helped during the year and a number of teachers came out to keep the program going.

She said Allan adopted the breakfast program after fellow teacher Robin Hatfield left the community.

"Robin started the program and kept it going until a couple of months ago, so there wouldn't be a breakfast program without Robin and the funding we received from Healthy Living.

"So, a big thank you on behalf of all our students to Robin, Steve, all the volunteers and the program funders."

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