|CANADIAN OLYMPIC SCHOOL PROGRAM LAUNCHED AT EMSB|
MONTREAL, OCTOBER 7, 2005- The Canadian Olympic School Program was launched on Oct. 6 at Honoré Mercier Elementary School in St. Léonard to coincide with the Quebec Ministry of Education, Leisure and Sport’s Journée nationale du sport et de l’activité physique, which is aimed at encouraging Quebec residents of all ages to become more physically active and to adopt a healthier lifestyle.
Over 250 Grade 4 to 6 students assembled in the school gymnasium for the event, where two-time Canadian Olympic freestyle skier Jeff Bean spoke about his experiences at the 1998 and 2002 Winter Olympics. Afterwards, Bean and the students participated in a fun interactive physical activity session in the schoolyard.
"The Canadian Olympic School Program is a great way to get kids involved in the Olympic Games while teaching students to be healthy and active," said Bean. "If my experiences in sport and in life can motivate kids and help them do the best they can, then I’m giving something back to the community that has supported me for the last 10 years. That feels pretty good."
"We chose to launch the Olympic School Program at Honoré Mercier School because of its ongoing commitment to promoting health and fitness to its students over the last five years," said Marc Gélinas, Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) director of Athlete and Community Relations.
An initiative of the COC and RBC Financial Group (RBC), the Canadian Olympic Program was developed in cooperation with teachers from across Canada and designed to promote the Olympic Values and the importance of health and physical activity. The program (www.olympicschool.ca) is a free online teacher resource that offers information about the Olympic Games and Canadian athletes as a tool to educate, motivate and inspire students.
The Canadian Olympic School Program links stories about Canadian athletes from athletics, freestyle skiing, hockey and snowboarding into lesson plans and adaptable classroom-ready activities in the areas of language, mathematics, health and physical education for students in Grades 4 to 6. The program encourages children to embrace Olympic themes while generating excitement for the upcoming Olympic Winter Games in Turin, Italy. Since it began in 1987, hundreds of thousands of children have participated. Currently the program reaches more than 9,000 elementary schools across Canada.
Michael J. Cohen