Wellness project at Len Wood

Wellness project at Len Wood

Len Wood Middle School students are being challenged! An invitation has been given: for 30 days students are being challenged to eat breakfast, eat a minimum of two to three servings of fruit or veggies a day, and make water their main drink of choice!

Sounds easy? Research, and the school’s own survey, has shown that this doesn’t always happen, for many reasons, so this is a way to help educate the students about the benefits of healthy habits.

This challenge is one of three which will take place at the school over the coming year. “The idea for the wellness project was born out of a school improvement discussion where our teachers focused on how to get students more engaged in their learning, explains Principal Denise Moore. “We also conducted a wellbeing survey last year. ” With the resulting data the teachers brainstormed why students might not be engaged. We used the data to look at the reasons that might help to explain lower student engagement and what could be done to help.  Our ready to learn focus was born out of this data and discussion.

“We decided to do three 30 day challenges and bring in three guest speakers. The first guest speaker was nutritionalist Serena Caner who spoke to the students about the importance of eating breakfast and eating local healthy foods. Students then had the opportunity to taste what she was talking about as they worked individually to make fresh salsa …. and then they got whole grain chips to eat it!

The next speaker will be Dr. Sean Larsen, who will speak on student anxiety, sleep and being connected to others. The ties in with the school’s second challenge, which will be during winter, which will focus on getting enough sleep.

The third guest speaker will be SD83 Healthy Schools Laura Paiement who will do a presentation on increasing outdoor time and reducing screen time! This will be a part of the third challenge, which takes place in the Spring.

Moore said the challenges are part of the school improvement plan. She said staff used strategies from Cale Birk, which among other things, looks at how to increase student engagement in their learning, the “why” behind it, and what can be done at the school level to help address the underlying causes of the lack of engagement

In the first challenge, staff wanted all students to have access to nutrition.  Thanks  to the breakfast program (funded by community donations and LINK) students can get breakfast at Len Wood every day. She also says the school has a very supportive Parent Advisory Council (PAC) which recently wrote a grant request to Spallumcheen Council and received funding to purchase a metal water bottle with Len Wood’s logo on it for each student. She says the school also has water bottle filling stations so the students have easy access to cooled, filtered water.

“We also have fruits and vegetables available to the students all the time,” says Moore. Hopefully by educating the students through this challenge they will understand why they should eat a healthy breakfast, eat fruit and veggies, and drink water. These challenges and speakers will ultimately hopefully help students become more engaged and ready to learn.

Now back to that healthy eating challenge. Students get a parent signature for each day they meet the challenge. At the end of the month they will tabulate the class that met the challenge for the most days! The winning class will get a lunch with Moore and Vice Principal Duncan Hazlewood.

Let the healthy eating begin!