Two students from Diamond Vale Elementary are bringing home the messages they heard about important life skills from professional football players at the inaugural BC Lions Skills for Life Summit.
Chase Cooke and Spencer Vaughan were two of 122 students from around the province who attended the event in November, which coincided with Grey Cup weekend.
Upon their return, the students presented at a school assembly on what they learned at the conference.
“We told all the kids that Chase and I thought we were pretty good leaders in the school and if any students in the school had any problems and felt uncomfortable talking to adults, they could come to us,” Grade 7 student Spencer
Vaughan told school board trustees at their meeting on Jan. 14. “I’ve had some kids talk to me already.”
Cooke, who’s in Grade 6, will carry the work forward next year, Diamond Vale principal Bruce Bidney said.
The themes of the day’s workshops included skills training in trades, bullying prevention and leadership development.
Another of the themes was prevention of violence against women, which is a cause that the BC Lions organization promotes through Be More than a Bystander, its school-based program that aims to teach kids about the wide-ranging impacts of gender-based violence and harassment and give them the tools to speak up against it.
“It was quite eye-opening,” Bidney said. “There were some stories by the BC Lions themselves, some personal stories that really hit home with the kids.”
Vaughan told the board he thought it was a great experience for him and his friend.
Diamond Vale was selected from two School District 58 schools put forward to send two delegates to the student conference.
“It was a real opportunity for one of our schools to go down and participate in that, but you also want it to have some kind of impact,” SD58 superintendent Steve McNiven said. “To hear about what Mr. Bidney and Spencer and
Chase did, coming back to the school and spreading that news and that understanding from a student’s perspective, and give that opportunity to say, ‘We’ll listen to you if you’re having any difficulties,’ I thought it was just a great impact after the event.”
“I’m sure Chase and I would love to speak at other schools and tell people about our experience,” Vaughan said.