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Sep 27, 2013

6 min. read

When Edward McLennon became the 2012/13 CAA School Safety Patrol Supervisor of the Year, he told us he was thrilled to receive the recognition. As a teacher, he was even more thrilled to find out we were sending him and his students to We Day.

We Day, an annual “youth empowerment” event held across Canada and the United States, took place in Toronto on Friday, September 20. Unlike other events, tickets cannot be purchased; instead, they’re awarded to youth who take action in their local community and for global causes.

Mr. McLennon’s leadership of the School Safety Patrol program had patrollers at Chief Dan George Public School devote countless hours to helping ensure their students got to and from school safely.

A group of children holding signs on a sidewalk.

What made Mr. McLennon’s contribution to the program even more remarkable is that he instilled a genuine concern for safety amongst his students. This empowered his patrollers to extend the reach of the program within school grounds, during recess and in the hallways.

As a proud supporter of Toronto’s We Day, CAA South Central Ontario was able to select 30 honourable guests to attend the event that its founders Free the Children describe as “the movement of our time, empowering a generation of young global citizens through an inspirational event and a year-long educational initiative.” For CAA, Mr. McLennon and his patrollers were the perfect group to invite.

A group of children in safety vests posing for a photo.

“We Day will give the kids a true global perspective and exposure to things outside of our city. It will be an eye-opener, because the extent of what they know is based on what they are exposed to,” says McLennon.

His students prepared for the event by creating motivational posters and watching videos online of past event performances. Mr. McLennon says his patrollers were most excited for the celebrity appearances and musical performances, but he’s confident they’ve gained a meaningful life experience, too.

A group of children wearing reflective vests.
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