Flying Dust council celebrates new school year by introducing incentive trip


By Kathy Gallant - source Meadow Lake Now

Students from Grades 5 to 12 from Flying Dust First Nation celebrated a new academic year in style, and the students in Grades 8 to 12 were given a big incentive to excel in school – a chance to earn a trip to Disneyland.

Health and education band councillors and staff members introduced themselves to the students present at the ‘Education New Year Celebration' at the Flying Dust Gymnasium Wednesday evening, Aug. 30. 

Band Coun. Connie Derocher, who works with the education and youth and recreation portfolios at Flying Dust, said the event was to establish positive, community-based relationships.

“It's so important for any child to have a good support system in and out of the home in order to be successful,” she said. “This back to school approach has never been done before and we are always striving to do better in meeting our youth’s needs.”

As a means to encourage attendance and strong academic performance, the incentive trip will be late next spring. Support staff will accompany 40 students, who will have to work hard to earn a travel spot. The spots are for students from the Flying Dust First Nation or Meadow Lake students on the band's list. 

“They will earn their seat on the bus based on attendance, academics and attitude,” Derocher said. “Like most youth, we find our students are faced with more challenges at a certain age in school. There’s a pattern where we see a decline in attendance and academic performance [starting] in the [junior high] years.”

Derocher said fundraising will take place throughout the school year to support the voyage, and is feeling positive about the motivation this endeavour will provide.

“I have every bit of faith in all people involved that we will see a bus full of happy, deserving students en route to California,” she said. “Also a group of parents and a community that will be very proud of their efforts at the end of this school year.”  

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