Alumna sees program she helped start benefit her students

As Jennifer Currie watches her students enjoy their activity-filled day at Brock University, she’s proud of how much the PALS program has grown since she helped create it 21 years ago.

“It’s something to feel good about,” the Brock alumna and Prince of Wales principal said recently, as she shared laughs and memories with old friends.

She visited with a class taking part in the Positive Active Living for Students (PALS) program, which aims to expose students to a variety of sports and activities that are inclusive for all students.

I started the program in 1995 to expose local students to Brock and the facilities.

Currie’s history with PALS dates back more than two decades, when she was an undergrad student in the Physical Education program.

Through the next several years, she would earn her Masters in Education from Brock, while serving as the team captain and eventual head coach of the women’s volleyball team. Once she landed a full-time position at Brock, Currie knew there was more she could do to build on the University’s connection to the community.

“I started the program in 1995 to expose local students to Brock and the facilities,” she said.

“I wanted to give students a positive experience on campus and provide them with the opportunity to participate in activities that they wouldn’t otherwise have at their schools.”

Seven-year-old Ruth Rix came to Brock for the day with her Grade 2 class, and enjoyed “learning about different games” she hadn’t heard about before.

“I really liked archery because we get to shoot the arrows,” she said. “I’m excited to try rowing later because we get to go in the kayak.”

This year, 196 classes and 4,442 students from 67 different schools from the Niagara Region and Greater Toronto Area attended between May to June, and the program continues to sell out each year.

“The high quality instructors and the varsity athletes who understand the importance of physical education help make this program thrive,” Currie said.

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