One of the most powerful tools we have for reaching and impacting youth and children is peer education. Peer education makes use of peer influence in a positive way to support learning, personal growth and understanding.

Peer Educators…

  • Are less likely to be seen as out of touch authority figures
  • Are perceived, by both younger students and their own aged peers, as getting advice from a friend ‘in the know’
  • May relate better to the younger students as they share similar concerns, ideas, music/culture, and language
  • Share an understanding of what it is like to be a young person
  • Demonstrate that youth have a role to play in helping to solve their own problems

In 2000, SD69 and the local Health Authority entered into a partnership agreement to establish a peer education training program that would prepare high school students to present learning experiences in the areas of substance abuse prevention and sexual risk-taking behaviours to elementary students in our district. The goal of the program was to impact youth, parents and the community with their message about health, wellness and prevention.

The group dubbed themselves Educating New Ideas To Youth (ENITY – not ENTITY) and the rest is close to 15 years of successful work in the classrooms of our elementary schools.

The purpose of E.N.I.T.Y’s peer education program is to develop and implement a sexual health education program for school age youth utilizing a peer education strategy, promoting healthy sexual education and healthy living.  The program is designed to impact youth, parents and the community with information about relevant health issues, healthy lifestyle choices, and how to develop and support the skills required to meet life’s challenges.

The E.N.I.T.Y. peer education program educates and trains motivated young people (grades 9-12) on health issues so that they are able to communicate these messages to younger students in the classroom and share their knowledge within their peer groups.

One of our peer educators shared the following perspective about her ENITY experience…

What surprised me most this year in ENITY was learning new skills like adapting to my learning environment, using different techniques to engage the students and to work with different people all the time. It has definitely helped me in other areas of my life. Also learning all sorts of useful information that I could apply not only to my life but to others who were seeking help which was a learning experience in itself and I’m grateful for it.

We are proud of this partnership with Island Health and so pleased at the positive impacts this program has had for our peer educators, but also for those students they have so ably presented to over the years.

Rollie Koop – Superintendent of Schools