Since 2005, the Strait Regional School Board's Health Promoting Schools team has been able to support a wide range of school health initiatives related to physical activity, healthy eating, leadership as well as mental health and wellness. In an effort to increase awareness related to the exceptional initiatives and accomplishments made possible by the Health Promoting Schools team, a web site has been launched, www.srsb.ca/hps. The online information showcases the many projects and activities that have been developed in the Strait region to support the active, healthy school environments and lifestyles of our students. Parents/guardians, staff, students, education partners and community members are invited to visit the web site to learn more about the Health Promoting Schools initiative, its role in supporting a school's health promotion goals and its impact on student learning and achievement.
The Board's Active Healthy Living Consultant Bryan Smith explains that the extent of activities and projects undertaken would not have been possible without the support of the excellent partnerships established with municipal recreation departments, Public Health Services, St. Francis Xavier University, Addiction Services and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. "In addition, the support received from the Departments of Health Promotion and Protection and Education has allowed the Strait Regional School Board to build capacity within the schools and communities it serves," says Mr. Smith.
Although the amount of resources and programs provided to schools, through school-based and community partnerships, has been tremendous; it has been the effects that this support has had on students that is the most notable and significant benefit of the Health Promoting Schools initiative. "When students feel empowered through school leadership opportunities to identify assets that they may or may not have access to, they begin to take ownership and responsibility for developing and managing their own programs. Through the identification of school needs, grant writing and program implementation, the youth and adults in schools have been able to build stronger relationships which have ultimately enhanced the school climate," says Mr. Smith.
As the Health Promoting Schools initiative in the Strait region has evolved, it has developed to include more than physical activity and healthy eating goals. As school programs began to surface around the province, it was quite evident that student leaders were emerging with them. The area of student leadership became the third goal of the Board's Health Promoting Schools action plan. Leadership as an asset is a very strong quality that the Board would like to deliberately instil in students within their healthy development. With the addition of mental health and wellness to the Health Promoting Schools mandate last year, partners groups have been able to work more collaboratively to achieve our common goal of lifelong healthy living and learning.
Under the capable leadership of Mr. Smith, along with the support provided by our partners, students in the Strait Region have been very fortunate to participate in numerous active and healthy living initiatives, both indoors and outdoors. "The many learning opportunities provided by the Health Promoting Schools initiative have expanded student participation in all aspects of health education. The initiative enables students to be successful, well-rounded members of their schools and communities," says Director of Programs and Student Services, Monica Williams. – less–ZoomInfo