Wednesday, November 8, 2017


Well in recent years I've been involved along with CPAC (Citizens Public Advisory Committee) on four occasions in public outreach. One involved a presentation to the Kitchener chapter of the Council of Canadians a while later followed by a table beside them in the Kitchener market where they handed out literature dealing with their issues and I did the same regarding Elmira, the environment and Chemtura (Uniroyal Chemical). A couple of years back Dr. Dan Holt, chair of CPAC and I addressed a grade 7 and 8 enrichment class of students. They were brought to Wilfred Laurier University for the occasion. That was the first time I saw Dr. Holt in that particular type of venue and was very impressed. He understood how to get the kids involved through questions and answers and how best to keep them enthusiastic, entertained and learning, all simultaneously.

Yesterday Dr. Dan and I again presented to two classes of children in regards to environmental matters here in Elmira, Ontario. A total of 42 children, their teachers, a teaching assistant and briefly the Principal all were in attendance. Again after a brief introduction to the issues I found the interaction through questions and answers to be the most enjoyable aspect of the day. The kids were interested and full of questions, comments and even suggestions. For my part I have to admit that it almost felt like a runner's high both during the discussions and afterwards as it became apparent as to how much everyone benefited from the exchange.

Over the decades I have talked to a number of classes of students both elementary and high school kids. For a number of years each spring a class of high school students and their teacher came down from Walkerton and I chatted with them about Elmira, Uniroyal, groundwater and more in a room at the Elmira Library. I thought that it would be easier to explain some of the issues with older kids than younger but I'm no longer as certain. Kudos to both Dr. Holt and his wife Dr. Colleen Holt for their efforts in making the arrangements for outside community resources to come in and speak to the children on serious matters which will affect them and hopefully will prepare them for lives as active and involved citizens.

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