Mark your calendars and start planning! The last Wednesday in September every year is Rowan’s Law Day (#RowansLawDay) – a day to engage students, staff, coaches, and parents/guardians in activities that increase awareness about concussions and to share Rowan Stringer’s story. The tips, tools, and links to additional resources in this Toolkit are designed to encourage and support your participation.
Concussions in sport are a recognized health concern – but brain injuries are not limited to people who play sports. Everyone is at risk. Rowan’s Law Day is an opportunity to educate and engage students in a discussion about concussion and to use some of the following activities to promote awareness:
- Printable posters
Download and print concussion education posters to post around your school. You’ll find posters (available to print as 8.5 x11 and 11 x 17) for both elementary and secondary students. Posters can also be printed and coloured by younger students as part of your concussion awareness strategy. Consider having a colouring contest or having students create their own posters based on what they learn about concussions.
- Share Rowan’s story & wear her favourite colour!
Share Rowan’s story with students and colleagues – and encourage your school community to wear purple (Rowan’s favorite colour) on Rowan’s Law Day (the last Wednesday of September each year).
- Host an in-person or virtual assembly
Host an in-person and/or virtual school-wide assembly to support student learning about concussions and the importance of speaking up about an injury to the head. For tips, view the Concussion Legacy Foundation Canada's Team Up Speak Up speaker/school assembly program. Interested in having someone speak at your school? Try contacting your local Brain Injury Association or public health unit.
Address concussion education in your school’s morning or end-of-day announcements using content from Ophea's Rowan's Law Day Toolkit.
- Sports teams
Take the pledge to keep yourself and each other safe by reporting concussions. Visit Team Up Speak Up for details: https://www.concussionfoundation.ca/programs-projects/programs.
- Student projects & in-class discussions
Engage students using activities or projects that help them learn about concussions and that reinforce the message that a bump to the head or body may need medical attention and time to heal. It’s “OK” to take a break! Students who have had concussions may also share their experiences, encouraging others to SPEAK UP if they too are ever injured.
- Connect with parents/guardians and/or the broader school community!
Through social media channels, your school’s newsletter or via other means, consider sharing your school board’s concussion policy and some of the content from Ophea’s Rowan’s Law Day Toolkit with parents/guardians. It’s important that parents/guardians can recognize the signs and symptoms of a concussion so that they can protect their child and share in your school’s best practices to keep all students safe. Invite parents/guardians to learn more by visiting Parachute's Concussion Guide for Parents and Caregivers. Moreover, parents/guardians, children/youth, and the broader community can help increase awareness about the signs and symptoms of a concussion by reviewing and sharing the Rowan's Law: Concussion Awareness Resources which contains e-booklets, videos, and e-modules.
- Staff education
Concussion awareness is a shared responsibility – which is why all staff at your school should know the signs and symptoms and be aware of your school board’s concussion policy. Encourage your colleagues to make use of the following resources:
- The Ontario Physical Activity Safety Standards in Education: Concussions
- Ophea’s Concussion Identification, Management and Prevention for Schools (updated annually) e-Learning module was developed to increase awareness and understanding of concussion identification and management. The module also includes strategies and resources to assist in the education of concussion prevention. This e-Learning module is intended for all school staff including educators, administrators and support staff.
- Get social
Use your school’s social media platforms to educate others about Rowan’s Law Day and concussion awareness using #RowansLawDay and #HitStopSit. Share what your school is doing to participate.
View these videos with your students and school community to promote awareness and spark discussion about head injuries and concussions:
- Dr. Mike Evans: Concussion 101
- CBC: Rowan Stringer ignored concussion symptoms days before death
- CBC News: Gordon Stringer is an advocate for brain injury awareness who has worked tirelessly to enact legislation and educate the public about concussions
- What happens when you have a concussion? - Clifford Robbins
- Rowan's Law