The value of a prison education

January 20, 2020

By Colleen Flanagan, Maple Ridge – Pitt Meadows News

On the surface, Kevin Heinze’s physical education class appears to be no different than any other in the school district.

Except that it takes place in a men’s prison in Maple Ridge.

His students, 18 and older, learn how physical activity is an important part of their overall health and well-being.

However, the first assignment for his class raises eyebrows.

The assignment is called “Where Am I Now” and is an introduction to the class in which Heinz asks his students questions about their individual well-being.

From one of the questions about eating habits, he learns that many of his students eat a lot of junk food.

Some eat meth.

Another question asks about sleeping habits, where he learns about how some of his students stay awake for up to 10 days straight on meth or simply wander the streets due to homelessness.

But now that they have some stability, they are getting five to six hours of sleep a night.

Others, still, are planning to sleep more, maybe 10 to 14 hours a night, just to forget where they are.

But it’s Heinz’s job to remind them of the health implications of sleeping too much.

Heinze, who has a masters degree in education and technology from Simon Fraser University, teaches physical education, as well as English 12, work experience, child development, and career and life education to inmates at Fraser Regional Correctional Centre, on 256th Street.

Read the full story.

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