Award-Winning DVD Series Finally Provides a Community Solution
Motion Picture Series Promotes Smart Choices and Anti-Bullying Message
The new DVD series called S.M.A.R.T. Tips won a Gold Remi award at the 46th Annual Worldfest-Houston. S.M.A.R.T. Tips features Constable Rick Lemieux – a Timmins police officer whose relationship with his community is guiding its youth to make good, healthy decisions in life.
The series comes in the midst of a seemingly endless rash of violence, bullying stories, and online suicides, and it offers an effective strategy to combat these problems by helping to educate our youth. “When you develop good children, you build good, healthy communities,” says S.M.A.R.T. Tips producer Paul Stark. “Police and schools are using the DVD because it provides good sound information about bullying, Internet dangers, and many other topics that may otherwise not be reaching our youth.”
Lemieux, who runs the D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) program for Timmins Police, is one of three mentor officers who provide D.A.R.E. training to police officers across Ontario. He believes strongly in the values of community policing – an ideology that builds partnerships between police and the community they serve. His relationship with parents, teachers, and schools, and his remarkable success with the youth of his community have earned him the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal, one of the highest honours bestowed by the Queen.
Lemieux was nominated for the honour by Ontario Provincial Police Inspector Harry Lawrenson, the man who oversees D.A.R.E. officer training in Ontario. “I am very proud of this young man,” said Lawrenson. “I could not even begin to guess how many lives this young man has touched.”
Lemieux will work with DARE to spread his winning formula to other communities, and he believes the S.M.A.R.T. Tips DVD series is the key to getting it done. S.M.A.R.T. Tips is already being used in schools, police departments, and homes, and enthusiasm from the community has been remarkable.
"(He is) doing such a great job for the children of our community," said Maureen Moore, a delegate from the Northern Credit Union office that is supporting Lemieux “...we are blessed to have someone as committed as (him) working in our city."
The S.M.A.R.T. Tips series is co-hosted by a sidekick puppet named Sergeant Short, and features special guests that include George Stroumboulopoulos (CBC), Arda Ocal (The Score), Paul Harrison (NHL), and many others. It is packed with valuable life lessons for children from elementary school through high school, and blends these lessons so effectively with dramatic and story-like elements, that it makes learning fun for its young target audience.
“When I used them with both my students and my own children,” said grade 6 teacher Colleen Southcott-Lionello, “they were thoroughly engaged and it provided an excellent starting point for discussion.”
S.M.A.R.T. Tips has received support from the Ontario Provincial Police, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and municipal police departments throughout Ontario. The series addresses several topics including When to Call 911, School Bus Safety, Stranger Safety, A Good Circle of Friends, Bicycle Safety, A Positive Attitude, Tobacco and Other Drugs, Internet Safety, and Bullying.
For more information, to view a sample episode, or to obtain a copy of the S.M.A.R.T. Tips DVD series, visit www.smart-tips.ca.
Stark Productions is an international award-winning independent motion picture production company operating out of Toronto, Ontario. www.starkproductions.ca.
For more information about Constable Rick Lemieux, visit www.constablerick.com.
The series is proudly sponsored by Goldcorp Canada Limited, Porcupine Gold Mines because it closely reflects their values of family and community safety. www.goldcorp.com.
Locally, S.M.A.R.T. Tips is available at The Book Bin, downtown Timmins.