Michel Beaudry`s interviews with Myles Rademan in the last two issues of the Pique, come at an opportune time. The much anticipated Community Meeting with VANOC is coming up Tuesday, June 17 at Millennium Place, 5-8 p.m. I can`t say that I favour the “Open House” format, which if you recall was the same style that we had for the “Skating Rink Open House”. It does allow more people to get their questions answered, but in the case of the skating rinks, there was a baffling display and private conversations which left an impression of — divide and conquer.
As someone who is very involved in public education, I have anticipated the announcement of a signed contract between the School District 48 and VANOC, for use of facilities. I haven’t heard any news. A couple of months ago I attended a “Schools on the Road to 2010” workshop which included staff from most school districts in the GVRD and Fraser Valley as well as representatives from VANOC and the Ministry of Education. The keynote speaker was Nancy Deford, the Superintendent of Schools for Park City during the 2002 Olympic Games. It was uplifting to hear what a great experience the Games were for the community and as Myles Rademan says “the Olympic Experience grows”, fear is replaced by fun.
I have heard, but have not seen the actual plans, that our elementary aged children will have programming in place to allow working parents to report for work when children are out of school during the Games.
Ms. Deford said that the contract between the school board and SLOC allowed the school district to hire someone to help them with the Olympic education and planning. SLOC provided 5,000 tickets for students, many of which were for medal events. There was enough money to pay teachers and hire buses to take students to these events and when the Games were over, create simple legacy projects to celebrate the memories students had of this once in a life time event. Rademan’s maxim that sponsors are fickle proved to be a boon to Park City students when Coca Cola provided 3,500 tickets for students, just prior to the 2002 Games. Every student had the ability to see at least three events.
There is so much potential for our students to not only see events, gain work or volunteer experience but also other possible educational benefits during the Olympic Games. Nancy had so many great ideas to help us get “beyond the poster contest”. I hope that we see a lot of community members out to the public meeting next Tuesday. There are many questions that people would like to have answered and many ideas to make these the best Olympic Games ever.