Between April 28-May 1, Parkland School Division will host The MHCC Headstrong Summit with around 400 PSD students from across the district to increase student understanding of mental health and wellness. Sponsored in part by the RBC Foundation, ATA Local 10, and the Mental Health Commission of Canada, this summit will introduce students to people who have experienced and recovered from mental illness in order to reduce the stigma surrounding mental health and addictions. Our students will have the opportunity to connect with multiple community partners who can support students and families at all stages of their health journey. We are grateful to the planning committee and Ottawa delegation of student leaders who have prepared our division for this exciting learning opportunity.
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!
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.