Support for schools

Topics: Quebec
July 22, 2016

In the last three years, the Red Cross has contributed to 12 education projects. Isabelle Dagneau, Director of Complementary Education and Special Education Services at the Hauts-Cantons School Board, explained how the projects made a difference in Lac-Mégantic. “These projects are restoring balance to elementary schools and the local high school. For example, adding professional psychoeducation, psychology and speech therapy services helped unburden on-site responders a bit and allowed them to catch their breath. It wasn’t just students that needed help, but also returning staff. Every time we announced a new project to the teams, it was like a breath of fresh air.”
Another project enabled the Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières to study the impact of the tragedy on the student body at the local high school, Polyvalente Montignac. The results showed that some students needed support for potential post-traumatic stress disorders, signs of depression or substance abuse. A recent survey within the same study revealed that there was still cause for concern, even though the community was slowly but surely getting back on its feet. “We were relieved that the Red Cross could help us for another year,” said Isabelle. Speaking with a great deal of emotion, she added, “Yes, things are certainly going better, but it’s still tough for many people. Some students will never be able to make up for what they lost. However, the assistance helped us get back on track and provide greater support to many students.”
“By embracing and placing so much importance on projects proposed by the school board, the Red Cross staff made things so much easier. It wasn’t complicated at all. Setting aside a portion of people’s generous donations for education projects is a great investment. It’s very wise to take care of young people. And even though the Red Cross’ financial assistance will eventually come to an end, we know we can always count on the team’s advice and expertise. It’s very reassuring.”
“I want to thank and congratulate our school staff, who have worked tirelessly these last few years to make sure that our schools and daily lives returned to normal, that activities continued, and that kids could have a childhood. I know the emotional toll that such work can take, when they themselves were often exhausted and personally invested in everything that was happening. I applaud their willingness to help students through these difficult times.”
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