For the past two years, Brant (Ontario) Right to Life has been making a few more presentations to Grade 7 and 8 students than usual. We have also teamed up with the pro-life group at the local high school. With the help of high school students, elementary students are on us like white on rice. Together with some fetal models and a video, our presentations have become very interesting.
In September, Assumption College High School will organize a pro-life club. Assumption is one of two Catholic high schools in the Brantford area. Through out the year, weekly lunch time meetings draw about 30 students with an approximate two-to-one female-to-male ratio. Activities include watching pro-life videos, organizing school witnesses and planning how to get to student pro-life conferences. Since TV sets are used in each classroom for morning announcements, the pro-life group has been able to produce a series of fetal development ads that were aired to all students during those announcements.
By around February, the winter blues set in and the activities die down. That’s perfect timing for the Right to Life speakers bureau to step in. The next six to eight meetings will be a crash course in how to make a pro-life presentation to Grade 7 and 8 students. The students memorize facts and try to personalize their own presentations. A letter from the high school pro-life group is sent to each grade school in the surrounding area. Students pair up and sign up to make presentations as invitations from principals and teachers come in. In some cases, eager students will contact their former school’s Grade 8 teacher(s) to increase the chances of getting into that school.
The presentations are exciting! The Right to Life speaker makes introductions and sets forth an agenda, followed by a short video on prenatal life. Then the high school students describe the fetal models and changes in development as a baby grows. The students are given a page of facts which they are free to add to and present in their own style.
One student decided to refer to the models as “this person” instead of “this baby” or “this model.” It made an enormous difference in the attitude towards the models. They became real, and now we all refer to the models in this way.
The Right to Life presenter will continue for a little while until all is wrapped up with the real mission of the Assumption Pro-Life Group – chastity. Any student who may have appeared uninterested seems to perk right up at this point. Chastity may be politically incorrect, but most students welcome the security it promises. And the best part is that when it comes from a peer only a year or so older, it sells!
The wrapup includes a challenge to commit to stay chaste. The presentation ends with a question-and-answer session. Most of the teachers allow questions to continue past the allotted hour.