Battlefords Better Together plans second community meeting

By Angela Brown
March 7, 2018 - 8:00am

Living Sky School Division will be joining Light of Christ Catholic School Division and a number of partners in a second community meeting for parents this Thursday in North Battleford.

The partners have come together to create the Battlefords Better Together Team, made up of a number of community groups with a common interest in youth wellbeing in the community. The Better Together group is comprised of 22 partners including the city, town, and local school divisions.

Living Sky School Division Spokesperson Shannon Lessard said the community partnership was established “to help parents following the tragic losses that we’ve faced in our community.”

Three youths lost their lives to suicide earlier, affecting many families and the community as a whole.

"We've done some work since our last meeting, and it's time to touch base and let people know where we are at, and what we expect for the future," Brenda Vickers, Living Sky School Division director of education, said.

At their meeting Thursday, the group will share feedback from a recent survey local youth participated in, and work to develop a long-range mental-health plan to help youth in the community. The partners will also discuss the upcoming Michael Landsberg presentation planned for North Battleford.

Cory Rideout, Director of Education for Light of Christ Catholic School Division, said the first community meeting Jan. 24 was more of a response to the tragic deaths. He said a lot has happened since then.

"The departments have gotten together, and our major goal was to engage the youth in our community, in terms of what was necessary, what we need to do as leaders to ensure a better environment for them in our community, in our schools and in all organizations," he said.

Rideout said taking care of youth is not just the responsibility of schools and police. “It's all of our responsibility to look after youth and make the Battlefords a better place," he said.

The parent meeting will be closed to the media, Vickers said, to provide a safe and private place for parents to discuss their concerns.

The community meeting will take place at the Don Ross Centre gymnasium at 7 p.m. March 8.


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