Launched in April 2014, the Play Exchange’s ACTIVE AT SCHOOL Challenge is a special investment to encourage schools across Canada to submit their ideas for getting young Canadians engaged in healthy living and physical activity, and specifically increasing the amount of physical activity they do every day, during the school day.
Today’s announcement revealed the winning submissions, one per province and territory, each of whom will receive $3000 to implement their idea.
The Fit Kit: Fitness and Fun for Our Littlest Ones
The Fit Kit is a toolbox for childcare centres that enables caregivers to integrate physical activity into the daily routine of pre-schoolers. The Kit contains a deck of over 300 cards, each with a description of a 20 minute physical activity, including variations of the activity for different age groups. Each day, caregivers pick three cards from the deck to determine which activities the class will participate in that day, with activities being spread out at various times throughout the day. The Kit also contains any equipment that may be required such as such as mats, mini weights, ribbons, etc.
Surrey, British Columbia
FitKid Coach is a program that trains teachers and student leaders to become fitness ambassadors by providing fitness training to classmates, and support to other teachers. FitKid Coaches lead students through a specifically designed physical activity circuit consisting of 12 stations that focus on a variety of fitness components such agility, balance, coordination and speed. The program helps develop healthy habits and a positive attitude about fitness, teaches leadership skills for the student coaches and builds a culture where physical activity is valued.
Indian Head, Saskatchewan
File Hills Qu’Appelle Tribal Council (FHQTC) Physical Activity and Wellness (PAW) Initiative
The Physical Activity and Wellness Initiative or PAW, is an initiative promoting health and wellness for First Nation students and youth by including 60 minutes of physical activity per school day as well as incorporating a daily nutrition component. PAW facilitators are provided with a resource kit containing ideas for physical fitness activities that not only incorporate First Nation culture and language but are also relevant to the Saskatchewan school curriculum. The idea is that students would participate in two 30 minute physical activities each day.
Standing Up For A Challenge
St. Augustine’s School’s Standing Up For A Challenge adds stand-up desks to classrooms so instead of sitting all day, students have the option of standing at one of the specialized desks. Not only does standing significantly increase the amount of calories burned, but teachers who have implemented stand-up desks in their classrooms have reported seeing improvement in attention, on-task behaviour, alertness and classroom engagement.
DrumFIT® Kit + Kick-Off Day
The Wellesley Public School (WPS) & Parent Council is partnering with DrumFIT® to bring a DrumKIT to their school to increase physical activity levels and improve overall health. DrumFIT® is a fitness-based drumming program that combines the mental health benefits of drumming with the overall health benefits of physical fitness. It gets the entire body and mind working together in unison, allowing students to refocus, become fully engaged and increase their performance in all subject areas. The Kit contains all the necessary equipment for a class of 30 students to participate including a training DVD / manual as well as lesson plans and support programs. WPS is also incorporating a DrumDAY to kick-off the DrumFIT® program for the entire school.
Je Bouge (I move)
The goal of Je Bouge is to move every day to achieve success. Following the Je Bouge program, 20 minutes of physical activity is added into the curriculum before regular classes start. This allows students to increase their daily physical activity from their usual 80 minutes per day to a total of 100 minutes per day, as well as improve learning outcomes and develop healthy habits. Je Bouge has also partnered with the University of Sherbrooke’s Physical Education Department to help determine the type of activities, develop new activities and improve implementation.
St. Andrews, New Brunswick
Fun and Fit 6 Week Challenge
Sir James Dunn Academy has made it easier for students to be active and participate in school sports by restructuring school hours to allow for 50 minutes of physical activity during its After School Program. By adjusting morning and lunch time breaks, the After School Program is able to start earlier so that students who were previously restricted because of school bus transportation schedules can now participate in school sport practices and other organized physical activities. This has allowed for a record number of students to join fall, winter and spring sports teams.
Wolfville, Nova Scotia
MAP! (Multisport After-School Program)
The Multisport After-School Program, MAP!, provides opportunities to school-aged children to explore and experiment with a variety of sports and associated skills. Participants in MAP! gain knowledge and specific skill-sets that will not only help them gain proficiency in various sports, but will also improve confidence in their abilities, increase physical activity and improve the likelihood of them finding a sport or activity they can / will participate in throughout their life.
Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island
Multizone: Infusing play, active learning and physical activity into health education
Multizone is a contemporary health activity for elementary school students. Facilitated by dietitians, Multizone fuses nutrition education with play, active learning and physical activity. It connects teachers and students with nutritionists and brings learning from the classroom to the gym. Students are constantly moving as they take part in group challenges. Each school receives checklists of curriculum activities to achieve, access to free nutrition resources, as well as sports equipment such as soccer balls for students to use at recess.
St. John’s, Newfoundland
Bishops College “Core” Fitness Program
This “Core” Fitness Program improves activity levels by bringing exercise balls into the classroom to replace classroom chairs. By using an exercise ball instead of a chair, students will increase their activity, burn more calories and strengthen muscles throughout the body while increasing alertness and learning. The idea is based on research that shows that learning during light physical activity exceeds learning while seated.
Elijah Smith Eagles Running Club
The Elijah Smith Eagles Running Club helps students set personal goals, become more active and make healthy lifestyle choices. Students start slowly at the beginning of the school year, building up throughout the year to be able to complete a 5 km run. They have the opportunity to participate in five different organized runs across the Yukon in order to put their goals into action and challenge themselves to beat their personal best.
Yellowknife, Northwest Territories
Range Lake North: Kanga Break
Range Lake North has added Kanga Breaks into the school day. During Kanga Breaks, students strap on Kanga Boots, jumping boots that fit like rollerblades or ski boots and provide a rebounding or trampoline effect, and are guided through a set of exercises made even more fun by this unique footwear. Kanga boots are easy to use, low-impact, a great energy outlet and a fun way to increase physical activity.
School Youth on the Move
The Recreation & Parks Association of Nunavut’s School Youth on the Move is a program to help engage and encourage youth to take ownership of their physical activity levels. The program will consist of a training/planning period to identify a School Youth Recreation Committee that will then work towards creating a four month after school physical activity program. The training/planning period includes High Five® certification, nationally recognized certification to assist in working with children’s programs in the sport and recreation industry, and is an opportunity for participants to identify youth activity needs and priorities and assess current resources.
For more information on the winning ACTIVE AT SCHOOL ideas visit the Play Exchange website.