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Life Education Programme
At a recent Club Meeting we were treated to a presentation on the Life Education Programme (LEP). Our speakers were Julie Gray, a teacher on the LEP, Diane Fenner who is on the C.C.C. team that supports it and Bob Southall, a Rotarian from the St Neots St Marys Club, the club that started this initiative in Cambridgeshire. The talk we received was so good that we thought we’d share the key bits.
The LEP is aimed at primary school children and teaches them all about their bodies, personal safety and the impact of drugs. A Rotarian, David Foster, from the St Neots St Marys Club, started it in 1991, although it took till 1999 to get the funding together for the first mobile classroom. The second classroom was commissioned in 2001. The programme now delivers preventative health and drugs advice to children from pre-school through to Year 6. It has 3 stages: awareness of medicines, both benefits and dangers, for the younger children; information on alcohol and nicotine for the slightly older children; and illegal drugs and health information for the older children. The LEP provides specialist teaching in a safe space, clarifying misconceptions and developing knowledge, attitudes and skills that will equip the children for later life. It is a partnership with the schools, with every lesson tailored to the audience.
Every school visit is followed up with a post-visit assessment, to ensure the teaching was effective. In Cambs the programme visited 58 schools and taught 14,000 children in the last year. It is a two-year cycle, but not every school takes part – they have to pay and it is something that some schools opt to leave out of their budget. The cost depends on numbers, but starts at £350 per day, on a sliding scale up to £500 per day.
Local Rotary clubs have also been assisting in the ongoing maintenance costs of the classrooms, but this wasn’t Bob’s main point, and this is one of the reasons why we’re giving details on our page. The whole project is is facing a funding crisis, and Bob would very much like Rotary Clubs to consider helping by providing funds to their local schools to enable them to provide this vital service for their pupils.
For more details Bob can be contacted on ………. and would be delighted to provide a presentation.