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Young leaders from across WSD met at the University of Winnipeg to be trained as certified Right to Play junior leaders.
Founded in 2000 by Johann Olav Koss, Right to Play is a global organization that uses the power of sports, play and games to educate and empower children facing adversity.
“We’re trying to inspire these students so they can make a difference in their community and the world,” said Right to Play representative Araba Nurse.
he April 18 “play academy” was designed to help students build leadership skills and global citizenship. Students were trained in a variety of fun, active games that they will facilitate at their schools—joining more than 10,700 junior leaders across the globe. Students will put their work into practice on June 9, for Right to Play’s Today We Play event.
WSD Phys. Ed. Consultant David Bard said the program was another way to integrate phys. ed. into teaching about Education for Sustainable Development.
“Right to Play looks at teaching human rights and social justice issues through games and sport,” he said. “This empowers students to go back to their own schools and be leaders. It’s our third year of doing this and we’ve trained over 300 students. It’s very positive—both the teachers and students have learned more about social justice issues and have been able to engage each other in those serious topics through games and being active.”
Clifton School teacher Antonio Di Geronimo has been at the school since it began its affiliation with Right to Play over seven years ago. He said it’s become a regular part of Clifton’s leadership and sustainability programming.
“It’s also an excellent way to build empathy, especially at the elementary level,” he said. “These students are learning about children around the world who may not have the sort of things they take for granted.”
Clifton students are learning Right to Play games at recess; the games range from neat variants on British Bulldog to ice-breakers where students get to know each other better.
The workshop was a big moment in the school career of Clifton student Justin Supan.
“This is my first time as a junior leader, but I’ve played the games before at my school,” he said. “I feel like I’ve matured and I’m very happy to do this.”