Coalbanks Elementary School held an assembly honouring Charles Mclntyre’s memory which reminded people to “Slow Your Roll” on Friday morning at the front of Coalbanks school grounds.
Charles Mclntyre previously attended Coalbanks before the accident occurred. Principal of Coalbanks Elementary School, Joey Gentile,said that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, awareness has slowed down and the school is working towards bringing more awareness of traffic safety.
“Unfortunately, the pandemic, we feel that it maybe lost a little bit of momentum here, and being invited to the YMCA about a month ago, and hearing the partnership with the family and the YMCA through the endowment fund, thought it was important that with Charles and his younger brotherSimon being students here at Coalbanks, that we revisit the importance of being safe in our school grounds and our playgrounds, and really the awareness. We deal with a lot of issues with parents – traffic safety all the time,” said Gentile.
Charles’s parents, Lee and Heather Mclntyre, were present for the event along with Chris DiPasquale, creator of the Slow Your Roll campaign. Heather Mclntyre talked about the impact of Slow Your Roll and said she hopes the campaign will save lives.
“If it saves another child’s life and another family from having to go through, you know the forever grief that we are,” said Mclntyre.
Students and staff at Coalbanks Elementary School wore green in honour of Charles because green was his favourite colour. DiPasquale talked about how he was out walking on the same path just before the accident had happened and the inspiration behind Slow Your Roll.
“On the unfortunate day of Charles’s passing, I was actually for a walk on the exact same path about an hour before the incident happened. When I went home that day, Facebook was kind of ringing with this incident and accident of a pedestrian getting hit, and come to find out that Charles had unfortunately passedâ€¦ It’s very small in nature, but I said, ‘you know what, I can work with this and figure out something bigger.’ I started researching kid’s signs and then came up with the name, Slow Your Roll, which was just the name of the campaign,” DiPasquale shared.
All funds raised from selling the signs and merchandise are donated to the food bank. The Slow Your Roll campaign is looking to expand the awareness of Charles through other schools, says DiPasquale.
“It’s grown to be so much more: Coalbanks getting on board is huge. Like this is really the trajectory that we want to be on. We want to promote more schools to get involved and to create that awareness.”
Each year at Coalbanks, one Grade 5 student is selected for the Charles Douglas McIntyre Memorial Award for Perseverance in keeping Charles’s determination alive. Heather McIntyre said these things can happen unexpectedly and the importance of being mindful of traffic safety.
“These things happen when you think they’re never gonna happen to you. And they can; it is happening here at home, and just to be mindful of that.”
Slow Your Roll signs can be purchased through Facebook at Slow Your Roll. Lee McIntyre, the father of Charles, added by reminding to slow down and take the time at crosswalks and school zones.
“The biggest thing is slowing down being a driver. If there’s kids around, if you’re in an area where you see a sign, or you’re in a school zone or near a crosswalk, just pay attention. Take the time to slow down twice or three times if you have to,” he said.
By Steffanie Costigan, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
Original Published on May 29, 2023