Pubdate: Wed, 08 Mar 2006
Source: Windsor Star (CN ON)
Copyright: 2006 The Windsor Star
Author: Trevor Wilhelm
Bookmark: (Youth)
Bookmark: (Drug Education)


Interactive Program At Cleary Centre Helps Children Make The Right Choices

Video games, airplanes and a smoke-infested pig lung.

Police are pulling out all the stops this week at the Cleary Centre 
for the RCMP Race Against Drugs program, to tell children that drugs 
and booze are bad ideas.

Dylan Cartier, 10, learned his lesson. He said Tuesday he'll never 
drink or smoke.

"It's bad for you," said the Grade 5 Princess Elizabeth student. "I 
learned that cigarettes have over 4,000 chemicals. People that drink 
can't see properly. People that smoke, their brain changes a lot."

Ontario Provincial Police, Essex Fire Rescue Services, Amherstburg 
and Leamington police services and several other organizations are 
manning displays through Thursday for the area's fifth and sixth graders.

They'll do it again March 20 and 21 at the Sherk Complex in Leamington.

The children are rotated through a series of eight-minute interactive 
presentations and games stating the dangers of drugs and alcohol.

There is a game fashioned after Jeopardy requiring kids to choose 
categories and answer questions about drugs.

There is also a real pig lung manipulated in a lab to show the 
effects of smoking for 20 years.

Mark Roth, from the Greater Essex County District School Board, said 
4,400 Windsor and Essex students will go through the program at the 
Cleary and Sherk centres.

The program has been running annually since 1993.

"We want them to leave with information, so that when they're asked 
to make decisions as they relate to drugs, alcohol, smoking or 
healthy lifestyles, they can make informed decisions," said RCMP Cpl. 
Ray Valiquette. "That's the aim of the program."

It seemed to be working Tuesday.

"I knew a few things that drugs and alcohol and smoking can do," said 
Ankit Saraswat, 10, a Grade 5 student at Roseland school. "I learned 
a lot more. I saw lungs, healthy ones and unhealthy ones. Lung 
cancer, throat cancer. It can ruin your esophagus."
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