Fourteen Kitkatla students may go home with a laptop at the end of the school year if they complete a program run by Prince Rupert RCMP.
The RCMP Foundation Kids, Cops and Computers program launched its first site in B.C. on Nov. 28 in Kitkatla. Corp. Susan Boyes is leading the program. She meets with the students at the Lach Klan School and teaches them about preventing cyber-bullying and safe Internet practices while building a positive relationship with a RCMP officer.
Each child that got one is required to do a number of projects throughout the year. “It’s kind of a learning thing where the police can walk them through certain programs and gives us an opportunity to get into the schools and be role models for the kids,” Sgt. Dave Uppal of the Prince Rupert RCMP said.
The RCMP Foundation was looking for schools where the program could be implemented and the Prince Rupert RCMP detachments flagged Kitkatla. “We really want to focus on communities that are in need of technology,” said Kelly Ledingham, the marketing and program coordinator for the RCMP Foundation.
The students were selected for the program based on need and they were provided with a new laptop from General Electric, the major donor. If they attend the sessions with Corp. Boyes, complete an assignment and are responsible with how they use the computer, the students will get to keep the laptop at the end of the school year.
The program began 12 years ago with the Toronto police service, and this is the second year the RCMP Foundation, a charitable organization, took over and expanded the program nationally. There are 11 programs in communities across Canada, including the one in B.C. The program’s outcomes have been positive.
“Students’ grades have improved. They’re actively participating more and involved in their communities and improved confidence and social connectiveness with their peers,” Ledingham said.
“The program encourages students to be active contributors to their schools and communities. The intent is to instil hope and confidence ensuring youth can reach their potential,” she said.