News and Updates
April 9, 2018

April 22nd Is Earth Day

Providing opportunities for outdoor play at school is an important part of healthy living and a great way to celebrate the Earth!

This April, in honour of Earth Day on April 22nd, celebrate the many benefits of outdoor play at your school, including its ability to build resilience, creativity, inclusion, and leadership in students. EarthPLAY, a project by Earth Day Canada aims to promote the above using outdoor play.

According to Earth Day Canada, spending regular time in nature contributes to increases in general health, mental well-being, and intellectual development; however, a majority of Canadian children currently spend an hour or less outdoors each day. As children and youth spend so much of their lives at school, increasing access to outdoor play at school is an easy way to increase time spent outdoors.

Research has shown that time spent outdoors in nature is essential for the healthy development of children, both physically and mentally. According to ParticipACTION, when children are engaged with the outdoors, they are able to learn more about the habitat they live in. These experiences lead to healthier children and have a positive effect on their attitudes towards the natural environment that they will carry into adulthood. Additionally, according to the BC Recreation and Parks Association (BCRPA), spending regular time outdoors in nature helps students participate more successfully in academic learning indoors. Through outdoor play, children are able to exercise both their physical and mental capacities, increase their cognitive and emotional resources, and foster more positive attitudes towards school, furthering their overall development. Finally, according to Ophea, children who are introduced to outdoor environments in a variety of weather conditions grow up to have more confidence and self-esteem, fostering increased resiliency and self-regulation skills. Just remember to ensure that all students are wearing weather-appropriate clothing!

Providing children with opportunities to play outdoors during the school day is an important part of healthy living and a great way to celebrate the Earth! Learn more about the EarthPLAY program here and about Earth Day Canada here and have a great time celebrating Earth Day outdoors this year!

April 9, 2018

Sexual Health Education in Schools

Providing sexual health education to students gives them the tools and skills required to make informed choices and reduce risk

An empowered educator has tools at their disposal to enable their students to learn about sexual health. Resources are available for educators to increase their knowledge base on this subject.

Educators can gain credible information on sexual health from a number of avenues, including:

Additionally, please see below for other resources from the Healthy Schools BC website:

The above resources are made available to support educators. Students empowered with sexual health education have the tools and skills required to make informed choices and reduce risk. 

April 9, 2018

Action Schools! BC Workshops

Explore and experience instructional examples and activities that can be used in the classroom or the school

Build your skills and confidence in addressing healthy eating and/or physical activity in your classroom and school by participating in an Action Schools! BC workshop. Workshops are free and available to all B.C. K-7 schools. At 2-3 hours in length, these workshops are perfect for your Professional Development Day programming.

Action Schools! BC workshops provide hands-on, professional learning opportunities to explore instructional examples and activities to be used in your classroom and school.

Facilitated by skilled trainers and aligned with B.C.’s new curriculum, the workshops emphasize:

  • Flexibility in teaching and learning approaches,
  • Increased student engagement
  • The First Peoples Principles of Learning
  • A holistic view of health that includes connections to mental well-being

There are three different workshops available: 

  • Healthy Eating Workshop
  • Physical Activity Workshop
  • Healthy Eating and Physical Activity Combination Workshop

We Are Out There!:

Since the start of the 2017/2018 school year, Action Schools! BC has competed 11 workshops in 8 school districts throughout the province.

We are also pleased to announce that Action Schools! BC has been chosen to deliver two Healthy Eating Workshops at the First Nations Schools Association Conference in Vancouver and at the 2018 Educational Spring Fling in Prince George.

If you are interested in learning more about Action Schools! BC workshops, please email  or click here to schedule a workshop today.

April 9, 2018

“Just One Thing”

What is one thing you can do to build school connectedness in your school community?

School connectedness creates a school community where everyone feels safe, seen, heard, supported, significant and cared for. Supporting school connectedness takes the efforts of many, but can be achieved by focusing on “just one thing”. 

In 2014, School District 27 (Cariboo-Chilcotin) increased school connectedness by focusing on a district-wide goal of belonging. Seeking inspiration from Dr. Martin Brokenleg’s work with the Circle of Courage, they learned that it is important for children to first develop a sense of belonging before they are able to move on to mastery and learning, independence of self and generosity of spirit. The school district came to the conclusion that if the entire school community felt a sense of belonging, they would be able to lay the groundwork for every student to be the best learners they could be.

School District 27 understood that focusing on “just one thing” (instead of many things or activities) made taking action feel more manageable and made the goal of school connectedness throughout the entire school community feel more achievable.

Schools throughout School District 27 focused on projects geared towards their diverse strengths and needs and the various goals they wished to achieve. 

Here are a few examples of completed projects:

  • A lunch program had high school students make and deliver school lunches to various elementary schools in the district. Students were able to enhance workplace skills, feel a sense of achievement, and interact with the wider school district community.
  • A breakfast program ensured that all students coming into school had their basic needs met so they were able to go into their classrooms and be ready to learn.
  • A positive action program, designed to reduce bullying and other conduct behaviours, also strengthened friendships and relationships within the school community.

While their goal may have seemed daunting at the start, by focusing on enhancing initiatives that were already in place, and doing “just one thing”, School District 27 was able to support belonging and school connectedness throughout every level of the school community, in classrooms, schools and district offices. Find out more about this approach to improving school connectedness by checking out the video by School District 27. Additionally, you can find programs and supports on school connectedness from the Healthy Schools BC website.