Military Police take the L.E.A.D.

LS Andrée Noye encourages students to do push ups as part of the LEAD program.

LS Andrée Noye encourages students to do push ups as part of the LEAD program.

Rachel Lallouz, Staff Writer ~

Grade Four students gathered around Leading Seaman Andrée Noye at École John Stubbs Memorial School March 25, as the military police officer briefed them on teamwork and positive communication.

LS Noye, school liaison officer, discussed the WITS LEADS program, which teaches children in Grade 4 and above five problem solving strategies to deal with conflict.

Over and above the WITS program that provides strategies to deal with bullies – Walk away, Ignore, Talk it out, or Seek help -, the LEADS program involves Look and listen, Explore points of view, Act, Did it work? and Seek help.

“My role at the school allows me to have a positive presence in the community with the children,” she says.

“It really adds to the prevention aspect of our job, and that’s part of policing. If, from the beginning, we can help kids develop a positive outlook, they may be less inclined to resort to using violence to resolve their issues.”

“I think that having an actual officer in the class to talk about these issues allows the messages to resonate better,” she adds.

Other topics she covered include drug use, cyber safety and anti-bullying.

To start this particular LEADS class, LS Noye warmed students up on the school’s field with exercises.

The class was then separated into two teams.

Each group was given a large stuffed lion and was challenged to pass the lion around their circle without using their hands.

“I tried to emphasize developing their problem solving skills,” says LS Noye.

“And I went for a kinesiology based approach that allowed the kids to be active outdoors.”

The class was then split into groups of three, with each group given a plastic Hawaiian lei.

Teams had to fit a part of each person inside the small lei. In order to do this successfully the children had to communicate to others on their team.

“I learned that I should never judge anyone based on how they communicate,” says student Paulina Maizik.

The final activity required students to divide into small teams, hold onto each other’s shoulders, and pretend they were single cars driving on a road. In order to speed up, slow down, and stop, the “cars” they had to work together to drive themselves around the field.

“The activity helped students understand the importance of paying attention to the body language of others,” says LS Noye, who wrapped up the LEADS class with a debrief on respect and positive communication.

LS Noye works closely with the teachers at John Stubbs and includes Prescribed Learning Objectives set out by the Ministry of Education in her lessons. Her ultimate goal is to make it easier for teachers to incorporate the WITS and LEADS programs into their classrooms and know they can rely on a solid liaison program, says LS Noye.

“Military Police Unit Esquimalt are expanding their community relations and are further developing their prevention and education skills,” says LS Noye.

“The school supports me, I support them, and in the end, the kids are benefiting.”

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