Local schools get healthy action plans

By Amanda Richardson Posted 1 hour ago Teaching a importance of healthy eating, active living as well as a importance of a positive social environment, Ever Active Schools is bringing their sixth annual Health Active Schools Symposium to Fort McMurray, today."Ever Active Schools host 11 events around a province as well as they're to engage as well as help school communities along a healthy path," said Brian Torrance, director of Ever Active Schools. "We help facilitate a schools through assessments as well as action plans. "We work with what we call a three priorities of comprehensive school health," Torrance continued. "We want a holistic approach to school health. We work upon three priorities of active living, healthy eating, as well as creating a positive social environment. We really work to make that a fabric within a school."Torrance says a holistic approach makes a initiatives cross-curricular, bringing them into a classes other than phys Ed, calling it a "more comprehensive approach to health.""Through a symposium, there's a lot of initiatives we support, for example, DPA (Designated Physical Activity), which is a policy supported by Alberta Education that every child must have a minimum of 30 minutes of activity within a school day, as well as that's grades (kindergarten) to Grade 9. "We also support nutrition guidelines, which help schools choose healthy items to put into their vending machines as well as cafeterias," added Torrance. Acknowledging that many schools add healthy living initiatives to an already full curriculum, Torrance says it's important to congratulate a job well done."We make sure that through comprehensive school health, we celebrate success. When schools do take these initiatives on, it's often an add-on upon top of an already very bustling schedule, so we reflect as well as celebrate a success of these initiatives."Torrance also notes that healthy living! fundame ntals can reach outside school walls into a surrounding community."There's a lot of work that can be done within a community; getting parent councils upon board, having healthy active school travel plans, as well as things like that engage a community approach."While a symposium is a day-long event, Ever Active Schools hopes to see a long-term impact made upon schools that can be carried through a year. "We want to make sure that through this one-day event, there's some sustainability as well as lasting effect throughout a year. Schools come in with an action plan where they take an assessment of some things they need to work upon some schools are great with a activity, but they're not as great in a healthy eating options so, they set some priorities, as well as if their priority is healthy eating, they can work through some of a strategies as well as some of a things they'll work upon in terms of healthy eating." Action plan initiatives could include things like Fresh Fruit Fridays or replacing hot dog days with a healthier option.Many local schools are already upon a right path with help from APPLE Schools, a group that functions alongside Ever Active School, promoting healthy living in youth."APPLE Schools has really assisted a Fort McMurray schools in becoming healthy as well as we work in partnership with them. Some of these schools are well upon their way to healthy living," said Torrance.Ever Active School is a 12-year-old provincial initiative, funded by a Alberta government, as well as functions in partnership with a Wellness Fund, Alberta Health Services, Be Fit for Life Centre, as well as Alberta Healthy School Community Wellness Fund to bring HASS to more than 250 schools across a province every year.amanda.richardson@fortmcmurraytoday.com Advertisement

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