Written by: Stephanie Shantz, Media Coordinator, Ever Active Schools

Pink Shirt Day 2018 is here! This annual awareness day is part of the growing movement to foster healthy, safe and caring school communities in Canada and beyond. But building school communities where all students feel included and supported isn’t just limited to a single day out of the year. It’s critical that teachers, students, parents, coaches and other leaders in our school communities have the resources and information they need to promote positive and welcoming school communities all year long.

Here are five resources to help make that happen:

  1. Did you know children who identify as LGBTQ2S+ may face increased barriers to participation in sport or physical activity? Our blog post, Inclusive School Communities: Supporting LGBTQ2S+ Youth in Physical Activity Environments offers ideas on how to create opportunities for participation that are safe, encouraging and inspiring.
  2. The Respectful Schools Online Toolkit helps foster conversations in the classroom about anti-oppression, equity, dignity and justice through a human rights based approach.
  3. When children develop strong social and emotional skills, research shows school communities benefit from less bullying and high risk behaviours, as well as improved learning outcomes and overall improved student well-being. Our Social and Emotional Well-Being Booster Kit helps develop these skills by connecting students with all dimensions of wellness – physical, mental, social emotional and spiritual.
  4. Having strong school policies in place help clarify expectations within school communities and encourage respectful behaviours and attitudes. Check out the School Diversity Policy toolkit from The Society for Safe and Caring Schools and Communities for support with drafting or updating your school policies.
  5. Move and Play Through Traditional Games links traditional culture and values to physical literacy and fundamental movement skills. Created by The Be Fit For Life Network in partnership by the Alberta Native Friendship Centres Association, these lesson plans help communicate the history and culture of traditional games and note how the skills and values are still important today.

These are just a sampling of the many resources that are available to school communities. Feel free to comment below and tell us some of your favourite resources for building healthy, caring and inclusive school communities!

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