Last week I had the opportunity to begin my Monday morning with the students of Stony Plain Central School. Students in Grades K-6 were brought into the gym to begin their morning with teacher and yoga instructor, Jill Worthington. I was a bit nervous for her looking out at the sea of energy in the school gym. There were so many busy little bodies and naturally, the kids were excited to see and chat with their friends. How was she going to teach yoga to an entire gym of children and youth?
As soon as she turned on the music, she proceeded to move her index finger to her lips to show the children that it was time to focus inwards. The kids responded really well and began to move into chair pose and then circling their arms to stand up again. The entire yoga series was very thoughtful and really engaging for the children. Hundreds of students moved from standing positions to floor positions without any teacher instruction and their free, unique expression of yoga postures was simply brilliant to watch from the back of the gym.
This year, Health Champion Miranda Niebergall has coordinated with administrators so that the school community can gather together each morning to begin their day with physical activity. Here’s principal Archie Lillico explaining the changes he’s seeing in the school environment because of this simple change:
Thank you to everyone at Stony Plain Central for mindfully moving daily physical activity into the culture of Stony Plain Central’s school community.
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!
Parkland School Division was awarded a Nutella Breakfast Table Fund award in January 2013 to help support the work being done through its Youth Resiliency Project. The Youth Resiliency Project aims to strengthen the health and wellness goals of each individual school by engaging students, parents, and a wellness team made up of diverse stakeholders.
This award will be distributed to three school sites, Stony Plain Central, Seba Beach, and Wabamun, whose wellness teams chose to focus this year’s action plan on improving their nutrition education and breakfast programming. Each school will be rolling out different education activities and purchasing equipment to help meet the breakfast needs of their student population.
The Nutella Breakfast Table Fund is committed to inspiring Canadians to eat breakfast everyday by supporting communities that share this vision. Parkland School Division looks forward to supporting this vision and student health and wellness through this award.