By Andrea Horton
The District of Elkford, the District of Sparwood and the City of Fernie have all received correspondence from the Elk Valley P.A.R.T.Y. Program advising that the program will not be offered this year due to lack of accommodations at the Elk Valley hospital.
This would have been the 15th year of the P.A.R.T.Y. program, which offers students participation in realistic re-enactments of a motor vehicle accident and the aftermath. According to the letter distributed to all three councils, the program hits all of the students’ senses; sight, sound, smell and touch, creating a lasting impact on the students.
This year the program coordinator was informed that the Elk Valley hospital in Fernie will not be able to offer them a room to hold the program for its five required sessions. Without the re-enactments the coordinators feel that lectures can be lost on students and don’t remain in their memories. The program was developed in such a fashion to affect the students in a way that they would remember the impact of the sessions.
All three municipalities believe that the program is very beneficial for each community’s youth and plan to send a letter to Interior Health to express disappointment in the lack of accommodations for the program.
Sparwood council also suggested that perhaps the program could take place at the Sparwood Health Care Centre and students from Fernie and Elkford could be bussed in to attend the program.
Without the hospital space coordinators will be discussing what, if any future the program has in the Valley. Sparwood Mayor Lois Halko said that a meeting is planned to take place in May to discuss the future of the program.