This resource was created to provide junior and senior high school staff with

a guide to implement a peer leadership program among students. Peer leadership

helps students gain important skills to become role models within their schools

and communities. It can be a part of a comprehensive approach to the prevention

of substance abuse, bullying, suicide and gambling problems in our school and your school.

What is peer leadership?

Students can improve the quality of life at their own school through influencing,

supporting and being role models to their peers. This is peer leadership. Students

involved in peer leadership programs help their peers by taking an active role

in the school to make it a better place. These students are dedicated to creating

and supporting healthy, safe and welcoming schools.

A peer leadership program can help students, especially those who might not

otherwise be in a leadership role, gain important skills to become role models

within their schools and communities. In some cases, peer leadership can change

the status quo around bullying and other school conflicts. Throughout this

document, however, we will focus on the importance of peer leadership as part

of a comprehensive approach to the prevention of substance abuse, bullying, suicide and gambling problems among students.

An effective peer leadership program strives to do the following:

create a forum that provides students opportunities to develop, refine

and practice leadership skills (Tiven, 2002)

empower students to use their leadership skills to affect positive change

in their school (Tiven, 2002)

invest in future leaders (Tiven, 2002)

increase awareness of substance use, substance abuse and gambling within

the school setting

Peer leaders

A peer leadership team is a group of students who are committed to affecting

positive change within their school environment. These students are dedicated

to creating and supporting healthy, safe and welcoming schools. In a peer leadership

program, students are given the opportunity to develop skills so they can make

positive change and be better able to influence peer attitudes and behaviours.

Peer leaders will also develop skills that will help them to choose, implement

and direct school-based projects, activities and initiatives that will focus on

the prevention of substance abuse and other problems. Through this,

these students will become leaders of the future.

Peer leaders will

challenge the norms

inspire a shared vision

commit to be positive role models

enable others to act

What the program will look like

Peer leadership will look different at every school. Every school will identify

specific needs, and will develop specific approaches to meeting those needs.

What will look the same, though, is that a peer leadership program will be part

of each school’s planning and commitment to create a safe and supportive

environment that will provide students with opportunities to develop

and practice leadership skills.

Within the program, your peer leadership team will create a number of projects,

including activities and initiatives. These can range from informal interventions

(students committed to being friendly and approachable in the hallways) to formal

interventions (students creating a social-marketing campaign that provides accurate

statistics about substance use and abuse). In this tool kit we will provide examples

of and tips about the basics of peer leadership projects and how the projects can

be used to help with the prevention of substance abuse and various other problems.

What to consider when implementing

peer leadership

When beginning a peer leadership program, it is important to consider

• your role as a facilitator

• how to gain support for the program

• representing your student body

• how to recruit and select your team

• how to maintain enthusiasm and involvement

This section goes in-depth into these areas. This information will support

you to implement a peer leadership program in your school.

Your role as a facilitator

As the facilitator of a peer leadership program, you will be engaged in a balancing

act. The integrity of the program lies in your ability to guide projects and maintain

them to be led, driven and organized by students. Other key responsibilities will

include providing students with feedback and suggestions, and guiding students

to learn from both their successes and challenges (AADAC, 1996).

Characteristics of an effective facilitator

There are some characteristics that help people to be effective and successful

facilitators. One that is especially important is believing that youth are valuable

members of society. As we said before, youth can be powerful agents of change,

especially when adults empower, coach and advocate for them.

To be successful, youth need facilitators who are

• aware of the important issues facing students

• prepared to provide students with opportunities to learn, develop

and practice skills to help overcome these issues

• committed to providing a place where young people feel safe to learn about,

discuss and organize change around these issues

In addition to understanding the importance of youth, effective facilitators

also understand the difficult balance between their role as facilitator,

mentor and role model.


In the context of a peer leadership program, support means many things.

The peer leadership team will need the support of the school, of course: teachers,

administration, students and parents. The program will also benefit from the support

of the local libraries, businesses and recreational facilities, all of which you can

consider part of your school community. Because peer leadership programs vary

in cost, resources and time requirements, you will benefit from depending on

these other organizations as resources. In the planning stages of your program,

it is important to be conscious of these details so they don’t become stumbling

blocks later on (AADAC, 1996).

Gaining Supporters

School communities are made up of many different people: students, teachers,

counsellors, parents, administration staff, local libraries, businesses and recreational

facilities. All of these people have different roles, responsibilities and interests,

but they can all support your program. When developing a peer leadership

program, it is important to engage all of these supports. By doing this, you

will be building a broad base of support for the activities of your peer leadership

program. Plus, having a conscious and deliberate plan of ongoing communication

within your school will help to ensure the success of your program (AADAC, 1996).

You will need to secure some support, such as from teachers and administration

staff, even before you begin recruiting. Support from local businesses can be

gained at anytime in the process of building your program.

Below are a few ideas to gain support for your program. At the end of this section

is a sample letter introducing your program to, and asking for support from,

potential supporters.

Tip: Creating buzz, put it in writing

• Run a feature in a parent newsletter, and include a summary of the peer

leadership program in student Day-timers.

• Provide potential supporters in your school and community with a written

explanation (such as a handout) of the goals and benefits of a peer

leadership program.

• Prepare a memo about the program for your colleagues.

• Prepare a presentation about peer leadership programs for interested groups.

• Have your local newspaper run a short article on the “new” peer leadership

program. Include testimonials from supporters and from people who are

already part of a peer leadership program.

• Keep all messages short, upbeat, and to the point.

Tip: Choose the easiest path, start with a sure thing

• Personally contact those people you know will support a peer leadership

program; ask them to involve others.

• Partner or connect to other peer leadership programs in your community.

They can be sources of experience and information. Ask them to come to

your school to talk about their experiences.

• Have peer leaders provide presentations about the peer leadership program

to members of the school community.

• Consider concerns people might have about creating or supporting

a peer leadership program and be ready to respond. Some concerns

might be “It takes too much time,” “It costs too much,” or “I’ve never

done something like this before.”


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Teaching starts from a heart full of love, compassion and joy!

Every teacher should have a joyful and loving heart every single day; kids can feel it and respond to it...


Don’t ask what your school can do for you, but what can you do for your school every day!

                                                                             Dr Wakawaka Hughes P.

Breakfast & Lunch program Sponsors

We would like to give a big and Warm thank you to former principal Ms Sophia Galanis, Marieline Kitchen and Louis Bernier for their unconditional support from the beginning of this program. Our thanks also go to The active and humble principal Josee Lalumiere, Vice Principal Michel Branchaud, pastor Allen Etapp, Michel Awashish, Marie Ortepi, teachers and members of the pentecostal church.

  • Maxi Chibougameau
  • Band Office (Mat. Blacksmith)
  • Michel Awashish from Church
  • Jack Otter (Suicide prevention coordinator)
  • Members of Church and volunteers (MaryAnn Ottereyes, etc.)
  • MSDC Team

In the name of God most High, we give thanks to our sponsor and our future sponsors.

If you want to sponsor or volunteer in our Youth Lunch program, please email Dr Waka Hughes at

God bless


The Office of Readaptation and the Waswanipi MSDC/Health board has sealed a great deal of providing extra help to students in need. This is the first deal ever done within the Cree Nation between School and Health Board/MSDC.

We are very thankful to Marie Ortepie, Winnie, Ghislain, Sophie and the whole team at MSDC for the unlimited support and love for our students.


Every Month, the Office of Readaptation and Special Ed hosts a school/community potluck at the school. The idea is to allow community’s members, parents, teachers and students to interact and to know each other better. The overall objective is to prevent and alleviate behavioral issue at our schools.

The first potluck hosted at our school was a great success with almost 600 people attending. We want to give a very warm and special appreciation to Vice Principal Emilie Deschenes for helping us making that potluck happen. Your great contribution to our school and to the Holistic Thinking for Positive Behavior is always treasured.

Saturday Lunch

Every Saturday, we host a free Lunch program at the Pentecostal church (basement) from 12 pm to 2pm.

All the kids are welcome. The menus vary from:

  • Moose Spaghetti
  • Hot dogs
  • fried rice with carrot and meat
  • Pizza
  • Potatoes and fries
  • drink
  • chicken and soup
  • etc.


Movie Night

We host a movie night every Friday at 7 pm with the youth at the Pentecostal Church.

Every kids are welcome. We also have a snack and drink during and after the movie.


Math and Spelling Tournament

We host a Math and Spelling Tournament every weeks at the Rainbow Elementary School.

We are also looking for sponsor to offer various prices to winners.

Thank you!

Start a Youth activities?

If you have an idea of a youth program that will  built our school, church and our community in Jesus, please feel free to contact Pastor Allen Etapp, or the School.

Donate to this program?

If the Creator, God has touched your heart to support the after school program, our lunch program at church or any other project we are involved, please feel free to contact  Pastor Allan Etapp or the school and arrangement could be made to receive your donation.

God bless your heart and your family.

JJK Cree contact

Address for activities: 17, Cedar St.

              Waswanipi, QC, J0Y3C0

Tel: 929-800-2946

School address:  Rainbow School
Waswanipi, Quebec
J0Y 3C0



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