Lakeland Takes the Lead with School-Community Partnerships!

The Lakeland District for Sport, Culture and Recreation (LDSCR) is leading a school-community partnership with Population Health Promotion Practitioners and schools to support SPRA's Take the Lead! program.

Guest post by Bethany Dick, Youth Consultant
Lakeland District for Sport, Culture and Recreation

Since 2010, Lakeland District for Sport, Culture and Recreation (LDSCR) continues to lead the school-community partnership with Population Health Promotion Practitioners within the former Prince Albert Parkland Health Region and schools within the Saskatchewan Rivers Public School Division (SRSD) and the Prince Albert Catholic School Division (PACSD) to support Saskatchewan Parks and Recreation Association’s Take the Lead! program. 

For the 2018-19 school year, nine schools in SRSD and PACSD are involved in Take the Lead!. Six of those schools have received SPRAs Take the Lead! Training Assistance Fund. This funding has helped schools in several ways, including training staff to become certified Leadership Coaches and subsidizing the cost of program equipment.

In addition to school-specific support, the school-community partnership has provided participating schools with the opportunity to get together twice a year for multi-school Youth Leader Training (in Fall and Spring) and has allowed for Leadership Coaches to meet up and share the successes and challenges that their schools experience.

Regarding the multi-school training, Youth Leaders have shared that the best part of their day was:

  • "Learning leadership skills and doing activities”
  • “We played games that everyone could play”
  • “I am not kidding this was the best day ever!"

According to Leadership Coaches, the multi-school training “gives students the confidence to be leaders both in and out of the school setting. It gives them a chance to explore their independence with peers of their age group from other schools," and students “were able to use the skills that they learned at Fall training. Fall Training is a bit of a pep rally and gets them hyped for the year."

Leadership Coaches have shared overwhelmingly positive experiences regarding both the multi-school training and the support that the partnership has brought to their school’s Take the Lead! program. Students who were previously displaying negative behaviours on the playground developed into positive role models when they were given a leadership role through the Take the Lead! program. One Leadership Coach shared this feedback with us: 

Take the Lead! decreases a lot of negative behaviours we see at recess. It gives students an opportunity to engage in play in a positive way, while also providing older students who seem to struggle with anxiety and other issues a purpose." - Take the Lead! Leadership Coach

Take the Lead! has demonstrated not only an increase in positive behaviour but a sense of responsibility and ownership among students. “Students rarely complained about being committed to the program, showed students that it was a serious job to be done weekly until the middle of June. They love being recognized outside by younger students giving them hugs”.

Lakeland District for Sport, Culture and Recreation and the school community partnership look forward to continuing to work together to support SPRA’s Take the Lead! program.

Bethany Dick - Youth Consultant 
Lakeland District for Sport, Culture and Recreation