We are Rachel and Nicole! We spent six week with Mrs. Kirk’s Grade 9 health class and, although our time spent together was short, it was an awesome experience.  The most relevant topics for this group of students were substance abuse and sexual health so this was what we spent our time teaching about!
In our first class, we wanted to make a broad introduction about health to the students.  We discussed what the students thought made a healthy person and how they see health in their daily lives.  This helped us to shape our lessons to cover the most relevant material possible in these students’ lives.  The students really wanted to learn about the different types of drugs, side effects, and what do to in emergency situations related to substance use.  We emphasized the fact that our presence in the classroom was to provide the students with correct information and life skills with which to lead happy and healthy lives.
We had multiple lessons about substance use and abuse covering tobacco, marijuana, alcohol, other drugs and ending with strategies to avoid drug abuse and peer pressure.  We finished the unit with a summarizing game of Jeopardy! and the students were extremely excited for some friendly inter-class competition!
At the end of this unit, we moved into teaching about sexual health.  We discussed male and female anatomy, pregnancy, STIs, and contraceptive options.  The students asked lots of questions and we focused on providing correct information to correct any false myths that were circulating in the classroom.  We provided trustworthy websites for students to access if they had any further questions after our teaching time ended. 
We were extremely proud of the student participation in discussions and class activities throughout the semester.  We felt that this group of students benefitted enormously from the peer education aspect of the QHO program because they felt more comfortable asking questions.  We were very lucky to have been welcomed into this classroom and we wish the QECVI community a future of healthy life choices!

Rachel & Nicole

Hello!

      Our names are Laura & Meaghan and we teach a grade 6 class at Rideau Public School!

We have had such an amazing time with these students. We began the year with a few lessons on peer pressure and decision making before moving on to substance use and abuse. The students are SO smart and love to engage in critical thinking; from questioning the global trade system to complaining about government profits on cigarette tax!

Last week we did presentation on all different drugs and their effects. Some of the groups did skits, some did PSAa, and some made raps!

We just finished our last class today and they wrote letter to their ’16 year old selves’ about all the things they have learned this year. We hope that if they ever feel pressured in high school, they can open the letters and remember this class.

The students also wrote us a song to say goodbye!


-Laura and Meaghan


Hi there!

            We are Sarah and Holly and we volunteer in the School-to-Community program at QECVI. The School-to-Community program is filled with male and female students aged 15 – 19

        Our initial aim when we started teaching at QECVI was to develop a personal connection with the students. Since the students are close in age to us, we really felt that a connection with them would add an element of comfort and trust in our conversations, since we would be covering a various range of pretty serious topics, and we wanted conversation to flow freely. We like to think that we have achieved this objective! Every week we receive fewer and fewer submissions into our anonymous question box  – we believe this is because the students are much more comfortable now simply asking their questions to us during class time!
        Our classes are focused around discussions and conversations. We introduce a new topic each week and then we like to hear what the students already know about it, and what they would like to know. What we love about QECVI is that every week is different. The STC students all have varied schedules so every student might not be available each time we come into the school. Because of this, we are constantly meeting new students and having an interesting array of perceptions and opinions in our classes. The students are very participative and love to share their own views about things we are discussing.
       So far in class, we have covered nutrition, healthy relationships, contraception, pregnancy, sexually transmitted infections, and an introduction to substance abuse. Going forward, we will go deeper into discussions on illegal substances. Following this, we would like to give the students the chance to be creative and have some fun with our last class, where we are planning to create time capsules with the students! We will all write letters to ourselves to be opened in 5 years, as well as things we have learned from our time in class. We think this will be a pretty fun day last day to spend together.
         We have really enjoyed spending time with the students at QECVI and will be sad to reach the end of our lessons in just a few weeks. We are looking forward to our last couple of classes and we hope the students are too!

Holly & Sarah

Hello!

          We are Warren and Ryan and we are teaching at Limestone continuing education. The class that we teach at has a unique open concept environment that serves to provide a comfortable atmosphere for the 15 students. We have been really lucky to be working with such keen students, and we hope that we have contributed to the positive environment.

         Our main objective throughout the year has been to provide the students with the knowledge to maintain their physical health in a fun and engaging manner. The topics that we have covered so far within physical health include nutrition, hygiene, physical activity, and stress management. Throughout our lessons, we have always tried to get the students to come up with their own questions on the material in order to increase their interest in the subjects and to get them to think critically about the information presented. In particular, we gave the students an Iron Chef Challenge. The goal was to creatively plan a balanced meal around a list of random ingredients and we had a great time discussing the different meals that everyone came up with. Another highlight would be when we took over the school’s gym to play some intense games of basketball during our physical activity unit.

       Although our time together is coming to an end soon, we look forward to our outreach event with the students at Limestone. The plan is to cook a well-balanced, nutritious meal that allows all the students to get some hands on experience with some cooking techniques.

       It has been amazing to see how much the students absorb every time we visit. The attention and respect given to us by the students has definitely been the most rewarding part of the experience.

Tootles,

Warren and Ryan

Hello! We are Rhian and Ryan,

We teach the grade 6/7 split class at Frontenac Public School!
Our class at Frontenac is filled with high-energy kids who love to be active.

Throughout the past months that we have been teaching, we have incorporated fun activities into every lesson. These activities allow the students to engage in the material a creative way while also allowing us to gauge how much information the students retained. Their favorite games throughout the year have been drug bingo and jeopardy! Throughout the past months, we have covered a variety of health related topics. We started out by teaching the students about basic nutrition and health and have since moved into peer pressure, cyber bullying and healthy decision-making. In our last few weeks we are wrapping up our puberty unit and are planning on having a master jeopardy game of all the material we have covered so far for our last class with the students. Although our time at Frontenac is coming to an end, we still have so much to look forward to. Next week we are taking our class as well as the 7/8 split class to The Boiler Room for some rock wall climbing fun! Everyone on QHO is so excited for this, and so are the students. It will be a great way to end a fantastic year with the students. Ryan and I have had such a rewarding experience at Frontenac. We feel like the students have learned a lot through our lessons and in return we have learned so much from them! It will be sad to say goodbye in a couple weeks, but we hope to visit again!

Ta ta for now,
Rhian & Ryan

Hello!


We are Meaghan D., Megan V. and Angie, and together we are the peer health educators for the grade 4/5/6 split class at Rideau Public School!


Our main goal with the class has been to build a trusting bond with the students and to ensure that they feel comfortable learning the material while still enjoying the time they spend with us in the classroom!  The class is extremely engaging, enthusiastic and love to take part in class discussion and activities. The students are great critical thinkers and eager to learn all about healthy living.  Each week we begin by answering anonymous questions from the question box. This is a great opportunity for students to ask questions they may not be comfortable asking in front of the class.


So far this school year we have been working on substance use and abuse.  Angie is currently working with the grade fours on smoking and peer pressure. Along with their lessons, the students have made wonderful anti-smoking posters and have done skits and role-playing about peer pressure.  Megan V. has been working with the grade fives on alcohol. They have had some great lessons on the short and long term effects of alcohol, drinking safely and responsibly, classifying drinking, and recent trends in youth alcohol consumption such as “neknominations”.  Meaghan D. has been working with the grade 6s on marijuana, other illegal substances, and other pressures the students will face in middle and high school. They have watched a number of multi media presentations, and have had great group discussions on the dangers of drugs, marijuana as a ‘gate way drug’ and, the domino effect of drugs influences someone’s whole life.  


We have loved working at Rideau! The students and staff have been amazing and we look forward to the rest of the school year!


Meaghan, Megan and Angie

Hi There!

We are Holly and Megan and we teach the grade 5 and 6 split class at Rideau Public School!

Our aim when we became Peer Educators was to provide the students with health information in a fun and engaging way. We wanted to really develop a connection with the students. What we love most about the students at Rideau is that they love to learn. They are so engaged in our lessons, which allows us to have some great class discussions! The students have amazing critical thinking skills, sometimes they stump us with the questions they ask about why things in our society are the way they are! Our other favourite part is our anonymous question box, where the students can write questions to us that they might not feel comfortable asking in class. We think this is a great opportunity to get their real questions answered.


So far in the class, we have covered material on smoking, peer pressure, and effective decision making. Since January, we have split the class in two. Megan has been working with the grade 5s on alcohol and Holly has been with the grade 6s, teaching about marijuana and other illegal substances! In the next few weeks we are hoping to cover information to do with healthy living and eating. Following this, we would like to give the students the chance to be creative and have some fun by creating skits and posters to do with the information they have learned with us so far! We are also very excited for our last class, when we will all create time capsules with letters written to ourselves that we will open in 5 years!


We have had a great time being peer educators at Rideau. Every week is new and exciting. We really feel that we have learned a lot from the students as well which has been such a rewarding experience.


Holly & Megan

Hello!

We are Angie and Chelsea! We are so sad that our time with Mrs. Kirk’s Gr. 9 girls health class at QECVI has come to an end. Although we only had a few weeks in the class, we covered a variety of topics in sexual health.


In our first class we wanted to ensure that the material we would be covering was going to be valuable and useful to them. The girls were quick to all identify pregnancy as a major health concern among their peers. We targeted our lessons towards this issue, as well as other ones they acknowledged as prevalent. As such, we believe the girls acquired the knowledge and skills to make informed health decisions in the future.

We discussed what sources of information were accurate and reliable. In the following few classes we covered contraception, the implications of becoming pregnant and healthy relationships. Our final lesson covered sexually transmitted infections (STIs). We discussed how infections were transmitted, symptoms, prevention and treatment.

Throughout our time in the classroom we debunked some of the common misconceptions related to contraception and STIs, demonstrating the vast amount of false information that prevails in society and the importance of critically thinking.

Recognizing that everyone has a different comfort level with these subjects, we were so proud of the girls’ participation in discussions and class activities. Together we feel that peer education was a highly effective method to convey this health information to an adolescent population. Sexual health can sometimes be awkward or uncomfortable, but we believe peer education helped to minimize these feelings and create and open environment. We feel privileged to have been welcomed into this class, loved all their questions and wish them a happy rest of high school full of healthy choices.   Thats all for now!

Angie & Chelsea

Hello!

            We are Alison and Bethany, the proud Project Directors of QHO Kingston. It has already been a very busy year, and we are extremely excited to introduce you to the Kingston Peer Educators of 2013/2014! These hard working PEs have been teaching since November in our various partner schools: Frontenac Public School, Rideau Elementary, Queen Elizabeth CVI and Limestone Continuing Education.    

             Each week the Peer Educators work tirelessly to design effective lesson plans, attend Kingston specific meetings, participate in education sessions, and implement their work in the schools. The lesson plans are tailored to the specific needs of the classrooms and cover a variety of topics from sexual health to substance use and abuse. Each week a different pair of PEs will be checking in to let you know what they have been up to in their classrooms!

            Recently we attended the QHO winter retreat with the rest of the projects QHO conducts. This weekend was not only full of fun bonding but also had a main focus on critically analyzing
development strategies, practicing skills to be an effective teacher and the meaning of a sustainable project.  The Kingston PEs were able to share their experiences in the classrooms with the rest of QHO, discussing both the successes and difficulties encountered. It was amazing to see each PE step up and be leaders within QHO. Overall, it was an amazing weekend full of fun and we are so proud!

That’s all for now!

Love,

Alison and Bethany   


         

QHO KINGSTON 2013-2014: Rhian, Holly, Meaghan,Sarah, Megan, Chelsea, Alison, Bethany, Maya, Meghan, Michael, Ryan, Warren, Angie. MISSING: Laura

Time to say goodbye

Hello again!
It is hard to believe that our time at central has come to an end! We’ve covered a lot of health topics over the past few months and had a lot of fun doing it! After tackling nutrition, hygiene and smoking we ended with a unit on alcohol. The kids learned about what alcohol is, how it is made, it effect on the body and laws pertaining to alcohol in Canada. A challenge that we faced when discussing this topic was discussing a realistic portrayal of the side effects of alcohol, as the media displays drinking as always being ‘cool’. However, the kids of central 4/5 are extremely smart and critical thinkers and were quickly able to see that the media is not all true and that there are a multitude of effects from alcohol. The students were able to grasp that alcohol does not erase problems and there is a difference between alcohol use and abuse! 

To sum up all of the topics we have covered with the kids we came up with the extremely successful idea of time capsules for the students to open when they turn 16/17! The kids loved doing this and were able to get extremely creative with all the glitter, stickers and ribbons they placed all over their time capsules! The students created letters to their ‘future selves’ explaining key tips and importation information they learnt on our main topics (nutrition, hygiene, smoking and alcohol). Some students made promises to themselves and some included the facts and tips they had learned! Overall, it was a great time for everyone and allowed the kids to write about their time with QHO in a creative way!
We are extremely proud of these students for all their hard work and participation! It has been such a fun and exciting few months and we are extremely grateful to Mr. Wood for allowing us into his class room and to both him and the students for welcoming us in and making our time there so great!

Love, Liora and Alison