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Healthy schools matter

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Female student using a food dehydrator.

Once again the summer has whizzed by and it’s time to think about the new school year! Hopefully you enjoyed a healthy, happy summer and had a chance to share what wellness means to you.

A couple weeks ago, Emilia shared information about school nutrition but there is so much more to healthy schools! A healthy school is one that creates a healthy setting for learning, playing, and working. Students have opportunities in all parts of their school experience to develop healthy habits, including physical, mental, social and intellectual.

Comprehensive School Health

Northern Health has adopted the internationally recognized Comprehensive School Health framework that is promoted provincially by Healthy Schools BC. In this approach, it is not just about what happens in the classroom; it involves the whole school environment, addressing four interrelated areas of focus:

  • Social and Physical Environment
  • Teaching and Learning
  • Partnerships and Services
  • Healthy School Policy

When the school’s actions are coordinated across these areas, the impact on student health and learning is so much greater. Here are some benefits of this flexible and adaptable approach:

  • Better health & well-being for students, educators & staff
  • Increased feelings of support from school
  • Improved behaviours and healthy choices at home & in the community
  • Increased understanding of connections between curriculum and real life

Healthy Schools in Action

Think this all sounds complicated? Here are some examples of schools across the north that are leveraging grants to fund some great health related projects that show Comprehensive School Health in action.

Chetwynd

The Chetwynd Social Planning Society partnered with the Moberly Lake after school program to provide opportunities for children to learn drumming.

Students sitting in a circle with drums in front of each student.

Valemount

The Valemount Elementary School Parent Advisory Council (PAC) purchased snowshoes for students to borrow so they can get outside for fresh air, sunshine, and exercise.

Students and 2 teachers standing with backpacks and snowshoes.

Skidegate

The Sk’aadgaa Naay Elementary School in Skidegate purchased needed supplies & equipment for teaching students to grow and preserve food.

Students and teacher working with food dehydrator.

Seedlings on shelves.

These are just a few great examples! Many northern schools have shared their success stories with Healthy Schools BC. Visit Healthy Schools BC for more stories about healthy schools in our region!