20 promising students at Crystal Park School have been given new laptops to help them with research and school assignments. They’re part of a group of 300 students from communities across Canada who are part of this year’s Cops, Kids, and Computers program, put on by the RCMP Foundation. President and CEO Hope Henderson says they hope those picked will thrive with the technology.
“We work with the schools and the RCMP to identify the students, and basically the parents and school help select the students, and it’s for their leadership and their potential; that’s really the two criteria.
The youth might otherwise not have access to a computer at home. They have a code of conduct they’ll have to follow, and they fully participate they’ll get to keep the laptops for good.
Part of their participation will be meeting for Lead and Learn sessions on online safety and self-esteem with a local RCMP member. That member is Constable Gabrielle Spencer, who will also teach the kids about cyber bullying and healthy relationships.
“I hope that they learn that the RCMP is there to help them and if they do need help, that they can always come to us and it’s not such a daunting task,” she says.
Henderson echoes that sentiment, adding the TechConnect program’s main goal is to give these high achievers a better connection with the mounties. It started in three schools last year, and thanks to additional sponsorship, is expanding to 12 across Canada in 2017.