News and Updates
November 2, 2017

Healthy Habits in the Classroom, School and School Community
The importance of encouraging your students to reap the benefits of a healthy and active lifestyle

With sedentary behaviour, unhealthy lifestyles and adverse health outcomes on the rise, it is now more important than ever to encourage children and youth to sit less and move more and to reap the benefits of a healthy and active lifestyle. Help your students achieve and maintain healthy lifestyles now and in the future by building strong healthy habits and fostering a holistic approach to health and well-being within your classroom, school and school community.

Here are some ways you can build and strengthen the healthy habits of your classroom, school and school community and increase the health and well-being of students, staff and families:

Physical Activity and Active Living:

  • Incorporate lessons on physical activity and active living into your teaching outside of regularly planned physical education classes.
  • Encourage your students to participate in 60 or more minutes of physical activity every day and promote active living to your students and their families.
  • Add regular physical activity breaks during the school day.
  • The ParticipACTION website helps people of all ages make sitting less and moving more a priority by providing national programs and the latest information in one place and is a great resource for the classroom and school environment.

Healthy Eating and Nutrition:

  • Incorporate lessons on healthy eating and nutrition into your teaching.
  • Use healthier food and beverage items for classroom and/or school events, fundraising and/or sponsorship activities, as incentives to reward students for good behaviour and for sale at school. The Guidelines for Food and Beverage Sales in B.C. Schools can help you identify what are healthier foods and beverages.
  • Provide information on healthy eating and nutrition to your students and their families through newsletters, classroom/school events, etc.
  • The blogs on HealthyFamilies BC are a great place to get information you can trust on topics that matter to staff, students and families for use in the classroom and school environment.

Stress Management and Mental Health and Well-Being:

  • Incorporate self-regulation and self-calming techniques, breathing exercises and mindfulness, yoga and meditation in the classroom and school environment to combat heightening stress levels.
  • Introduce students, staff and families to helpful apps such as Breathr, MindShift and others from recognized mental health and well-being organizations.
  • Promote mental well-being throughout the school community to promote student learning, health and success.

We know that adopting healthy habits in your classroom, school and school community might not be easy, but the good news is that even a small change can make a big difference in the overall health and well-being of your students.

November 2, 2017

Healthy Schools Network (HSN) School Grants Deadline Coming Soon
The last day to apply is November  10th, 2017

The deadline for Health Schools Network (HSN) School Grants is quickly approaching. The last day to apply for an HSN School Grant is November 10th, 2017 - don’t miss this amazing opportunity! These grants encompass a new overarching theme of mental well-being. The focus this year is on well-being in a real-world context

The HSN School Grant is a $750 grant opportunity that supports public, First Nations and independent schools to use inquiry-based, whole school approaches to address mental well-being priorities. It provides financial support for schools as they transform the way that they address mental well-being across various aspects of the school environment.

Successful applications will have an inquiry focus on the promotion of mental well-being as it relates to students’ learning, health and development, and will connect their work to two overarching questions:

  1. How is it feasible to promote mental well-being through all environments that promote student learning, health, and success?
  2. How does mental well-being impact the ‘whole child’?

Preference will be given to applications that address the whole school environment with actions across interrelated learning areas, or that link to community initiatives. Consideration will be given to equitable regional distribution of approved applications across the province.

Due to a finite amount of funding available for school grants, applications will only be accepted from October 9th to November 10th, 2017 through apply.dashbc.ca. Please note that you will need to set up a free account in order to submit an application.

For further information about the HSN School Grants, click here. If you have any questions about the HSN or the HSN School Grants, please contact Sonia at sali@dashbc.ca

If you have applied for an HSN School Grant in the past, we encourage you to apply again this year! Just remember that, before you can apply for this year’s grants, you must post your previous grant’s year-end story on the Healthy Schools BC Stories Map. If you need any support in sharing your story, please contact Sonia at sali@dashbc.ca

We gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Province of British Columbia through the Ministry of Health.

November 2, 2017

Action Schools! BC Action Planning
Learn how action planning can enhance your school and school community

Action planning is a key way to purposefully enhance your school and school community in the areas of physical activity and healthy eating with connections to mental well-being and health literacy. Learn how you can easily access Action Schools! BC resources to support your school and school community.

Action Planning

An action plan is a road map towards a healthier school and healthier students. A short planning process can help educators make the most of their time and resources by ensuring discussion about a shared vision for the future, and agreement on the areas of health promotion that could be improved upon at your school and school community. Completing an action plan helps you build a shared understanding of health priorities, brainstorm actions that could be taken, choose a path forward, and evaluate progress over time.

The role of Action Schools! BC is to support your school and school community in achieving your goals and implementing your healthy living action plan. Based on the goals and actions you brainstorm, we will match you with the resources required to build capacity in those areas and to successfully achieve your goals. Together, we can take action across interrelated learning environments to encourage student engagement and health.

Action Schools! BC helps to start the conversation and provides on-going support in the form of:

  • Action Schools! BC physical activity and/or healthy eating workshops
  • Hands-on physical literacy and/or food literacy mentoring for classroom educators
  • Customized equipment grants
  • Downloadable resources including instructional examples and activities aligned with the new BC curriculum
  • Connections with community organizations and resources in your community

For a how-to guide for action planning that provides a step-by-step process to follow, click here. For a fillable action planning template, click here.

If you are interested in completing an action plan and gaining access to these valuable supports, please contact info@actionschoolsbc.ca.

Help Students Learn to Stay Healthy

Action Schools! BC will continue to serve the needs of individual classroom teachers with free web-based resources. These resources provide support for schools and school communities who wish to engage more deeply in physical activity and healthy eating actions with connections to mental well-being and health literacy across all aspects of the learning environment of their school and school community.

Register here for full access to over 100 physical activity and healthy eating resources with connections to mental well-being and health literacy. All resources are free and available for download. To begin your action planning process and gain access to these free supports, please contact info@actionschoolsbc.ca.

November 2, 2017

Children’s Rights in the Classroom
Using National Child Day to help foster school connectedness

National Child Day, held on November 20th of every year, is a chance to learn about the rights of children and youth to have a voice and participate in the community.

National Child Day has been celebrated every year since 1993, and is celebrated in commemoration of the United Nations (UN) adoption of two documents centred around children’s rights: the UN Declaration of the Rights of the Child in 1959 and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1989.

Following the example of many UN countries, Canada made a commitment to ensure that all children and youth are treated with dignity and respect and that they all have a voice, are protected from harm, are provided with basic needs and are given every opportunity to reach their full potential.

As children and youth spend so much of their lives at school, the school environment is considered an ideal place to start the discussion surrounding children’s rights, which can help students feel connected to the school environment.

When children and youth learn about the rights of themselves and others, they have been shown to have higher self-esteem and a greater acceptance of others who are different than themselves. They have also been found to be more likely to stand up for themselves and to stand up for other people. This positively impacts their ability to build relationships with their fellow classmates, teachers and other school staff and helps to make the school environment a place where students feel safe, seen, heard, supported, significant and cared for. This, in turn, has a positive effect on school connectedness.

For a child-friendly version of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child for use in a classroom or school setting, click here.

For more information on how to incorporate information about National Child Day in your classroom, school and school community, check out the National Child Day Activity Kit and National Child Day Lesson Plans, Games and Activities.

It is important that we celebrate children and youth as active participants in their own lives and in their own communities, and as active citizens who can and should meaningfully contribute to decision making.