WELCOME TO OUR NEW INNOVATIVE IDEAS SERIES!
We’ll be posting interviews and stories from school health champions from across Alberta. We hope you’ll find their ideas inspiring and informative, and that they’ll spark some great ideas of your own!
Our first idea is from Adam Pratt, a Physical Education teacher at Heloise Lorimer School in Airdrie.
WHAT IS YOUR IDEA AND HOW HAVE YOU IMPLEMENTED IT?
“At Heloise Lorimer School in Airdrie, AB we have implemented annual “Active Living Weeks” that provide every single one of our 750+ students to go on 4-5 P.E. related field trips during a week worth of epic activity opportunities!
During active living weeks, each grade visits a selection of local venues targeted at supplementing our P.E. curriculum and helping expose students to new and unique experiences and ways to stay healthy and entertained. Activities include yoga, fitness classes (ex. Spin), movement classes (ex. obstacle courses), curling, archery, free play at indoor playgrounds, skating, and bowling.
This annual event has done wonders in helping our staff, students, parents, and community form deeper bonds which improve the health of us all. In addition, it gives our school community a small taste of the options available to them on a grander scale within the community of Airdrie, all while supporting local business.
We are proud to be a school that values health, wellness, and physical literacy, and hope more schools begin to start traditions such as our Active Living Weeks to help keep students active for life!
A big shout out to Ever Active schools and Genesis Place for helping us out with this event. Also a big thanks to our community partners: Oranj, Shamrock Lanes, Airdrie Curling Club, YeeHaw Play, Genesis Place, and OC Archery.”
HOW DID YOU OVERCOME ANY BARRIERS?
“Financing these trips is always a concern for parents for weeks such as this. We did not want to place a large financial burden on our school community so we worked hard to keep the costs low by walking to local venues (where possible). In addition, we were fortunate to have some partners use grant money and/or modify their costs to help us ensure our cost stayed low on a per student basis.”
WHAT IS THE FEEDBACK SO FAR?
“People love it! Students, staff, parents, and our community partners all seem to love these weeks. Overall the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive.”
DO YOU HAVE ANY TIPS OR STRATEGIES FOR HOW OTHER SCHOOLS CAN IMPLEMENT THIS IDEA?
“1) Find a dedicated staff member who believes in and values physical activity and student wellness.
2) Reach out to fellow teachers for support and information on what has been done at other schools in your community or division.
3) Talk with local businesses, most are happy to help and understand that students visiting their venue is a mutually beneficial experience.”