Ottawa Schools Honoured For Promoting Health
Premier McGuinty Congratulates Local Students, Teachers And Communities For Working Together To Make Schools And Students Healthier
Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty today congratulated students, parents and community members at St. Bernard Catholic School for working together to make their school healthier and improve fitness and nutrition among students.
"Building healthy schools means building a healthy future for all our kids," said Premier McGuinty. "I want to congratulate the students and staff at St. Bernard's for working together to make their school community a place where everyone can contribute, where everyone feels welcome and where everyone learns to live an active, healthy life."
Premier McGuinty distributed a pennant to students and staff at St. Bernard's in recognition of their efforts to build a healthier school. Nearly 1300 Ontario schools will receive pennants. This recognition is part of the government's Healthy Schools Recognition Program, which encourages communities to make their schools healthier. To be eligible for the honour, schools had to pledge to do at least one more healthy activity this school year.
St. Bernard's school partners with public health nurses to encourage healthy living and hosts tournaments and after-school activities to improve student fitness. Other activities they have been recognized for include:
- Adopting a school-wide bullying prevention program
- Establishing a diversity club to discuss ways to make all students feel welcome in the school
- Participating in a school board project that uses resources to encourage healthy growth and development.
Other healthy activities schools are being rewarded for include:
- Holding a health fair
- Planting a vegetable garden on school grounds
- Adding healthier food choices to cafeteria menus
- Partnering with community sports groups to increase participation
- Promoting school-wide physical activity.
Schools were encouraged to consult with staff, students, parents and the community to choose their activities. The Ministry of Education also provided a broad framework for healthy schools in consultation with experts from the education and health sectors.
"I'm thrilled by the huge response to our challenge," said Education Minister Kathleen Wynne. "All of the staff and students involved deserve our praise for their leadership and commitment to making Ontario's schools healthier places to learn."
"The Healthy Schools Recognition Program has been -- and continues to be -- a great success," said Minister of Health Promotion, Jim Watson. "This is about working together to make our schools happier, healthier places to learn. Congratulations to St. Bernard's and all our pennant recipients!"
Building healthier schools is the latest way the McGuinty government is getting results in education. Other initiatives include:
- Requiring 20 minutes of daily physical activity
- Supporting safer schools with new programs and amending legislation
- Delivering peace and stability through four-year agreements with school boards and teacher federations
- Lowering class sizes for children in the early grades.
"We're working hard to get results for students and parents in Ontario," said Premier McGuinty. "Healthy schools are another important step forward in our plan to make public education the very best education for years to come."