Thank you to our awesome grocery store partners–Spruce Grove Save-On-Foods and Stony Plain Freson Bros. who have each helped us launch a September fund raiser to support the initiation or continuation of school breakfast programs in any of our 22 school communities. Many of our schools have expressed that breakfast programs are incredibly important to the health of their students for a wide-variety of reasons. These schools have begun to educate students how healthy nutrition supports their social, physical, and academic growth. We are fortunate to have partnerships within our communities that will help us increase the reach of our unique breakfast programs throughout Parkland School Division #70!
From the desk of Graminia School Health Champion Morgan Saunders…
Students in 5B record their agenda messages every day as part of my communication circle involving the students, their parents, and me. Students who can prove they shared their agenda message with their parents (by obtaining a signature), get to choose a reward. In the past, I offered a sticker or a small candy (a gummy bear or two) and sometimes a small granola bar. After the Health Champions meeting, I was wondering how it would be received if I offered a healthy option alongside the sticker. Last Tuesday morning, 19 out of 21 students present chose a mini carrot over a sticker. On Thursday, October 10, 22 out of 24 students chose the carrot option. Some even asked for a second or third carrot! Since today is Friday and the kick off to a long weekend, I brought back the gummy bears as a treat. I was surprised to find that I had students asking for a carrot instead!
This year, Health Champion Charity Erickson and her wellness team decided to help increase the health and wellness of their staff members by setting up a monthly Staff Challenge, which focuses on nutrition, sleep, exercise, and mental health. Each month, the main school entrance bulletin board has been designed to showcase the challenge as well as monitor the progress of just under 50 staff members who support and lead students in these areas. The positive peer pressure has been contagious!
Way to go, Stony Plain Central!
Submitted by Health Champions Linda Boschman and Mary Stewart
It’s Exam Time…
How do teachers at Spruce Grove Composite High help our Social and English 30 students obtain a head start on writing a great diploma exam at SGCHS?
Each student is provided with an exam preparation workshop, stress reduction strategies, and helpful nutrition tips. On exam day, students are given a granola bar and a juice box to stimulate brain activity and nurture great results. This is just one of the many ways that our teachers support learning through health strategies.
Early on this fall, Health Champion Ali Jacobs shared the great nutrition planning and programs at Woodhaven Middle School with the Nutrition Innovation Awards panel. The application celebrates the many changes that have taken place within the culture of Woodhaven over the past few years to build capacity with students, families, and community partners in the area of nutrition.
Some of these changes include:
- A Student Wellness Action Team that helps support projects and activities related to health and wellness throughout the year
- Reversed lunches where recess is taken before students eat or snack
- School Nutrition Policies and Planning that follows the Alberta Nutrition Guidelines for Children and Youth
- Wellness posters in each classroom that are changed weekly/monthly to meet a nutritional or physical activity goal
- School agreement with school council and teachers that candy and food-based rewards incentives will not be used but replaced with opportunities to work towards extra free time or other prizes.
- Teachers committed to modeling healthy eating choices at Woodhaven
for their awesome growth in this area of nutrition.
National Public Radio has created a special series devoted to the health and wellness of families called, “On the Run: How Families Struggle to Eat Well and Exercise.”
Included in this series are a number of stories that outline the struggles today’s families face when trying to balance and juggle parenting, jobs, and healthy choices. Please check them out and then feel free to share any of the following stories with families or to have a conversation with your wellness team, classrooms, or school council.
“”Once we do everything, there is absolutely no time to go outside and take a walk or get any exercise. It’s simply come in, eat, sit down, do homework, go to bed.”
– Paige Pavlik, Parent
As Parkland School Division gears up for nutrition month in March, three schools will be participating in some fun taste-testing of fruits and vegetables each week thanks to Save-On-Foods, Servus Credit Union, and PHE Canada. These organizations have each played an important role in sponsoring the project for Wabamun, Parkland Village, and Millgrove students. Wabamun Health Champion Teryl Pidhaichuk shared that week one of the program was a huge success and students throughout the school enjoyed fresh pineapple, “I couldn’t believe how excited all of the students were when they saw the passports and the pineapple coming into their classes.”
At Parkland Village, Health Champion Jackie Fitzgerald shared that one student said, “I’ve never had pineapple,” before tasting it. After the student tried the fruit, he exclaimed “Oh, wait…I have tasted this on pizza before.”
Research indicates that many of our children are not accessing an adequate amount of fruits and vegetables each day. This program uses positive peer pressure and a passport to encourage students to take their learning home with them. If the students eat any of the fruits or vegetables inside of the passport at home, they can take the sticker from the produce item and place it into their passport. The project is being shared with students in Grades K-9 and will run for 12 weeks.
“The best part of the first week is that we had extra pineapples and were able to raffle them off to each class as a take-home prize for participating,” said Jackie Fitzgerald
Thank you to Spruce Grove Save-On-Foods for sponsoring the student passports and preparing the fruit boxes required to feed over 500 students each week.
Servus Credit Union and PHE Canada have each donated $1000 to schools to purchase the produce for this project.
March is Nutrition Month. To support nutrition activities in your schools, the 2013 Nutrition Month Manual from Alberta Health Services has now arrived! This year’s theme: “Choosing & Preparing Food for a Healthier You!”. Feel free to circulate to your contacts. Inside, you will find:
1. Suggested Handouts and Websites
2. School Newsletter
3. K-9 Lesson Plans (Health & Life Skills Curriculum Outcomes identified)
4. Nutrition Month PA Announcements.
Don’t forget to check out the AHS School Nutrition Website: www.albertahealthservices.ca/2925.asp.
Contact Matthew Mitschke at firstname.lastname@example.org with additional questions.
One of our two Healthy School, Healthy Future teachers, Leanne Schram-White was captured by the Stony Plain Reporter in late October for one of her many new nutrition initiatives that’s been sponsored by local businesses. To read the entire story, visit: http://www.stonyplainreporter.com/2012/10/25/duffield-begins-tutti-fruity-tuesday-initiative