School Awareness Program
''I am deeply involved in schools where I give teachers the tools they need. Cancer is a difficult and stressful topic and information is the key. Together with teachers, we create intervention plans to enable children to pursue their schooling. [...] Leucan is present in schools to demystify the disease for sick children's classmates.'' - Édith Côté, Family Services Agent (Free translation)
Established in 2001, the school awareness program supports children in pursuing their schooling despite the disease and its treatments. This program also helps parents in their communication with the educational environment and raises awareness about pediatric cancer in schools.
The program’s objectives are multifold:
- To inform, equip and raise the level of awareness among the school staff and classmates about the realities and special needs of cancer-stricken children
- To demystify cancer
- To support the cancer-stricken child’s siblings and classmates
- To provoke reflection and awareness in children and to bring them to take actions to help the cancer-stricken child
Examples of situations where the school awareness program proves useful:
- Following the diagnosis and due to treatment protocols, cancer-stricken children can be forced to miss school for a while. Their classmates will then wonder where they are, why they are not in school, etc… This program will help teachers to explain the situation to their students.
- Upon their return in school, children who underwent treatment might look different (weight gain or loss, hair loss, etc…), which could lead to rejection or judgement from other students due to misinformation.
- The siblings of a sick child can feel helpless in front of other children’s questions about the disease. That is why it is important to build awareness among the siblings’ classmates so that they feel supported too.
The program’s team visits schools and hosts a presentation and activities to raise awareness about cancer among the students and the school staff. Among other things, the facilitators address the stages of the disease; the first symptoms; the treatments available; hospitalization; the physical, cognitive, emotional, and psychosocial side-effects; the impact on the family, etc… Teaching material is available to teachers.
Upon the child’s return at home, Leucan may also provide support to parents in their efforts to pursue their child’s schooling at home, if necessary.
In 2014-15, over 3,600 youths from 83 schools across the province had the opportunity to better understand cancer.
To learn more about the school awareness program, please contact your local Family Services Agent.
To request a visit from the school awareness team in your classroom or school, please complete the request form and send it to Leucan by fax at 514-731-2667.
To volunteer for the program, please complete the information sheet.