Paralympic Winter Games
12 - 21 March

Paralympic School Week in Canada Underway

On 3 November, B.C. Education Minister Shirley Bond, Vancouver 2010 Executive Vice President of Celebrations and Partnerships, David Guscott, and Canadian Paralympic Committee President, Carla Qualtrough, joined Paralympic gold-medallist Todd Nicholson to officially launch the first Pan-Canadian Paralympic School Week, together with Vancouver 2010 Paralympic mascot, Sumi and students and staff of James McKinney Elementary School in Vancouver. 05 Nov 2008 By IPC

The Paralympic School Week, taking place from 3 to 9 November, is a new and innovative programme that will bring the spirit and the values of the Paralympic Movement to classrooms across Canada.

The Vancouver 2010 Education Programme aims to unite all 365 school districts across the country in this unique opportunity for students to learn about the Paralympic Movement and its values of courage, determination, inspiration and equality. The week also provides an opportunity to recognize and celebrate wide-ranging examples of the achievements and successes of people with a disability engaged in sport, culture or sustainability.

"This week provides opportunities for teachers and students to learn, share, contribute and participate in educational activities that raise awareness about the Olympic and Paralympic Movements and the upcoming 2010 Winter Games," said Minister Bond. "We are encouraging teachers across Canada to work with their students to create Paralympic-style events in their classrooms or gymnasiums and discuss the values imbedded in the Paralympic Games, so every student can understand and learn more about interdependence, equity and fairness."

The Paralympic School Week programme is flexible and designed to fit the curriculum in any school. An online educator guide offers ideas for school-wide activities, including inviting a Paralympian or person with a disability to visit the school and speak to the students; adopting a school-wide theme for the week; running a Mini-Paralympic Games; engaging students in creative projects as individuals or in groups and having daily announcements that complement the Paralympic focus.

“This programme is an opportunity for schools across Canada to engage and inspire students and teachers alike through activities that celebrate extraordinary human achievements,” said David Guscott, VANOC Executive Vice President, Celebrations and Partnerships. “Not only will this initiative enrich an already comprehensive Vancouver 2010 Education Programme, it will deepen the knowledge and understanding of the sport heroes from around the world who will be showcased at the 2010 Paralympic Winter Games.”

The Paralympic School Week programme is endorsed by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) and the Canadian Commission for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The second Pan-Canadian Paralympic School Week is set for 2 to 8 November 2009.

“That schools across the country have this interactive programme as an additional educational resource is a great boost to the Paralympic Movement in Canada,” said Todd Nicholson. “By sharing the unique stories of Paralympic athletes with students across Canada, we have an opportunity to inspire the next generation to realize the best in themselves and open their minds to a new way of thinking.”

Developed by the Ministry of Education in partnership with the Canadian Paralympic Committee and the Vancouver 2010 Organizing Committee (VANOC), the Paralympic School Week programme is inspired by the Vancouver 2010 Paralympic School Day which is a school visit programme comprised of interactive presentations from VANOC and a guest Paralympic athlete as well as Paralympic Winter Sport demonstrations such as Ice Sledge Hockey, Cross-Country Skiing and Wheelchair Curling.

The Vancouver 2010 Education Programme components are hosted on the Vancouver 2010 website at vancouver2010.com/edu, where teachers can also share their stories and showcase the exciting and innovative projects happening in classrooms across Canada.

For more information, please visit the official website at www.vancouver2010.com.