The CN Adopt an Alouette program was created in 1998 with the purpose of battling high school dropout rates, which still plague both French and English students across Quebec. Through this player-driven, in-school mentorship program we reach an average of 60,000 adolescents in Quebec high schools annually.
Relating their own stories of perseverance, hard work and determination, our players involved in the CN Adopt an Alouette program receive more than 20 hours of presentation training from one of the leading presenters on issues of adolescent development in the country, Dr. Ron Clavier, who received his PHD in clinical psychology and specializes in neuro-science. In addition to the more than 300 community appearances by Alouette players annually, the CN Adopt an Alouette program has evolved into the flagship of our community affairs. With the help of underwriters such as CN and Pfizer Canada, and the collaboration of the Montreal Gazette, the CN Adopt an Alouette program will continue to provide adolescents with a game plan for success, and position our players to attack in-school issues with the same tenacity as they do our opponents on the field.
The visits The players make between 90 and 120 visits during their off season, from January through May. A total of 20 players participate in the program and Dr. Ron also makes about 30 school visits accompanied by a player. The schools and school boards work in collaboration with the program’s coordinator to schedule the visits. Each school “adopts” an Alouette player with whom the students develop a special relationship. Due to the program’s growing popularity, we try to visit as many different schools as possible each year. Because of the large numbers of schools to be visited, we are only able to visit each school once every two years. This allows our players to reach the greatest number of teenagers possible. The program targets primarily students between Grades 7 and 9, as they have been identified as most receptive to our curriculum and most in need of mentoring.
Before each visit, the program’s coordinator communicates with the school’s contact person to know more about the students and the speech content. The school staff can ask the player to talk about one specific subject or another, depending on what kind of problems are occurring in their school. The players taking part in the program are trained and know how to approach more complex topics like drugs, alcohol, gangs, etc. They are ready to answer any kind of questions.
Each visit lasts an average of 60 to 75 minutes. We start by presenting our loyal sponsors CN and Pfizer, then the program and of course, the player who will address the students. His speech consists of providing the 6 steps game plan that will lead them to success; professional, educational and personal success. For about 30 minutes, the player uses his own experiences to relate to some of those 6 steps and to show how important good decision making is for their future. We then take from 20 to 30 minutes for questions followed by a photo and autograph session.
Follow-ups On the days following the visit, the coordinator contacts the school to get the students’ satisfaction rate. It is their appreciation that is important for us and we hope that our message is heard and understood. If we can change one young person’s life by giving him or her good advice for the future, then we’ll be happy and continue our mission!To update your file, or to add your school as a new member of CN Adopt an Alouette, please fill out the following School Profile questionnaire and return it by fax as quickly as possible. Don’t hesitate to contact me for more information or to schedule a visit for your students.