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BELLEVILLE, Ontario, April 27, 2004 — The ACT Foundation and community partners launch the ACT High School CPR Program in the Belleville area today. This initiative will result in 1,600 Grade 9 students from all 8 high schools in the Hastings & Prince Edward District School Board being empowered to save lives with CPR training every year.

Through the ACT High School CPR Program, all Grade 9 students will be trained in the lifesaving skills of CPR. The four-hour CPR course will be taught to all Grade 9 students by their physical education teachers each year as a mandatory part of the curriculum.

The ACT High School CPR Program is based upon community partnerships and support. As such, ACT has brought together the Kiwanis clubs of Belleville, Madoc and Tweed; the Belleville Intelligencer; and the Regional Base Hospital of Southeastern Ontario as program partners to bring the program to the Belleville area. The Kiwanis Club of Belleville donated a class set of CPR training mannequins to be shared among schools in the Belleville and surrounding area, and the Kiwanis clubs of Madoc and Tweed together donated a set of mannequins to Centre Hastings High School in Madoc.

“Kiwanis recognizes worthwhile projects for youth. Through this program I can envision so many lives being saved,” said Karen Jones, Director for the Kiwanis Club of Madoc. “This program will see that in the future everyone in this area will know CPR.”

The Belleville Intelligencer has committed to donating the printing of the student and teacher manuals for all high schools in the Hastings & Prince Edward District School Board. The Regional Base Hospital of Southeastern Ontario, as the teacher training partner, trains the high school teachers as CPR instructors for the program and provides valuable medical direction.

Through the ACT High School CPR Program, students will be prepared to help a parent or grandparent should they experience a heart attack; a brother, sister or child they are babysitting should they choke; or a friend involved in a drowning emergency.

Today’s events mark the launch of the ACT High School CPR Program in the communities of Belleville, Trenton, Madoc, Bancroft and Picton. The schools are receiving their training and classroom resources and are excited to begin delivering the program to their students. Teachers, students, parents, and school board officials embrace the program with enthusiasm.

“This program will train and empower students at Centre Hastings Secondary School to help save lives in their local community and abroad. As a school board, we are very appreciative of the Tweed and Madoc Kiwanis Clubs for their significant contributions to this project. Providing our students with CPR Training builds responsibility, independence and provides them with a life-long skill,” stated Judy Edgar, Chair of the Hastings & Prince Edward District School Board.

ACT is continuing its fundraising efforts in the Belleville area in order to outfit all schools with their own set of mannequins, to ensure that all students graduate with the skills and knowledge to save a life.

“ACT’s aim is to raise funds to outfit all high schools in the board with mannequins, to ensure that every school can run the program.” states Sandra Clarke, Executive Director of the ACT Foundation. “We still need companies or organizations to come on board to donate mannequins to the remaining 6 schools.”
About ACT
The ACT Foundation is a national, non-profit organization dedicated to establishing CPR as a mandatory program in every Canadian high school. ACT raises funds for CPR mannequins for schools and guides schools in program setup. ACT’s corporate health partners are companies in the research-based pharmaceutical industry: AstraZeneca, Aventis Pharma and Pfizer Canada. The ACT High School CPR Program already exists in 700 high schools in Ontario, Quebec, British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba and Nunavut. To date, over 500,000 students from across Canada have been trained in CPR through this program.