THE Lisims/Nass Valley RCMP are pleased to announce that a local kindergarten student has won a nationwide W.I.T.S. (Walk Away, Ignore, Talk it Out, Seek Help) poster contest that was held on February 28.
Hannah Nisyok, 5, is a kindergarten student at Nisga’a Elementary Secondary School (NESS).
Hannah and her classmates all submitted artwork with the theme of bullying prevention.
Earlier this year, School District #92 and the Nass Valley were selected as one of seven pilot project sites for delivery of the W.I.T.S. program through the RCMP.
Hannah’s artistry and insight has won her school a $500 gift certificate for the purchase of the books for primary and elementary aged students.
“The members of the detachment, NESS teachers, administrators and staff would like to congratulate all the students who submitted their artwork raising awareness of this important issue. The children have embraced the spirit of this program and this has been demonstrated through the high quality of artwork that was submitted,” said Lisims/Nass Valley RCMP detachment commander Sgt. Donovan Tait.
“I applaud the efforts of our School Liaison Officer Const. Vanessa Demerchant and School Counsellor Margo Yeomans in bringing this wonderful program to the Nation and delivering it our youth.”
The W.I.T.S. program teaches schoolchildren strategies that they can use to deal with teasing and bullying.
“We are receiving positive feedback from the community about changes they are seeing in the children and how they are relating to one another in the schoolyard and the village. Being a small community, a program such as this can have an immediate impact and I think that is exactly what we are seeing,” said Tait.
All of the artwork, including Hannah’s winning submission, is on display at NESS.
W.I.T.S. has been successful in other parts of Canada, bringing schools, families and communities together to help children deal with bullying and peer victimization.