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‘Risk Watch’ to thank sponsors

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As the “Risk Watch” safety program wraps up its second year in district schools, a special luncheon is slated Thursday at 11:30 a.m. at the Red Dog Inn.

“It’s just to thank our major sponsors for their contribution to the program,” said Fort Frances firefighter Greg Allan, who also served as co-ordinator in getting the program up and running.

Sponsors being honoured will include Abitibi-Consolidated, Fort Frances Fire Brigade, Rainy River District Mutual Aid, Voyageur Panel, and the local Kiwanis Club.

Allan said the program also has been helped out by many smaller contributors since its inception.

The luncheon will run until 1:30 p.m., and will include plaque presentations.

Meanwhile, “Risk Watch”--which teaches children everything from firearm safety to staying away from poison--looks like it’s here to stay.

“Right now, we’re waiting for some teachers’ survey forms and we have our 16 contact teachers compiling test results,” noted Allan, referring to the data collection process that takes place at the end of each school year.

While not mandatory since “Risk Watch” no longer is a pilot program, results will be sent off to the Ontario Fire Marshal’s Office as well as the National Fire Protection Agency for their own purposes.

“The evaluation process is helpful for us, too,” said Allan. “We can see if there’s areas we have to do more on, or whether students have been finding it too easy or too hard.”

The program, which is taught to students in SK to grade eight, has grown to see 86 of 114 possible teachers using it.

While the “Risk Watch” committee will continue to monitor the program’s success, it is now well-established here after being slowly built up over the years.

“All the resource kits and books are bought so the financial part of it is over,” noted Allan.

“Whether it goes on is entirely up to the teachers,” he added. “But we’ll keep it going as long as we can, replacing any lost or damaged books, and things like that.”

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