June 19th, 2018, Simcoe, ON Two local schools, Houghton Public School in Langton and St. Frances Cabrini in Delhi, are both raising banners after achieving gold status in OPHEA’s Healthy Schools Certification program for the 2017/2018 school year.
The Ontario Physical and Health Education Association (OPHEA) Healthy School Certification recognizes and celebrates school communities for promoting and enhancing the health and well-being of students, school staff, and the broader community. OPHEA sets out six health priority health topics: physical activity, healthy eating, personal safety and injury prevention, growth and development, mental health, and substance use.
The Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit’s School Health Team helped guide and support the schools through the process of planning and implementing a range of comprehensive activities that promoted well-being in the school community.
Each school established a Healthy School Committee, which consists of students, staff, parents and members of the School Health team.
St. Frances’ Healthy School Committee chose mental health as their priority topic. They created a variety of initiatives to promote positive mental health at the school. “We are proud to be part of the 238 schools across Ontario that has been certified as being a healthy school,” said Debbie Pierssens, Special Education resource teacher at St. Frances. “It’s been a team effort involving all staff members, community service members, parents, and our local health unit. With mental health being our main focus, students were encouraged to discover their passions, interests, strengths and goals in order to nurture respect, responsibility and compassion. Providing a mentally healthy, safe and caring environment was a key factor in achieving our goal and we are pleased with what we have accomplished.”
Houghton’s Healthy School Committee chose personal safety and injury prevention. “Overall, students were very eager to get involved in different healthy activities such as yoga classes and the Bike Rodeo,” said Jennifer Schick, Grade 4/5 teacher at Houghton Public School. “We were very happy to have achieved gold.”
“The Healthy Schools team members genuinely enjoyed taking the lead on different activities to help promote healthy choices in our school and community,” said Julien Mathey-Vasquez, another teacher at Houghton.
Both Houghton Public School and St. Frances Cabrini will be presenting banners at their year-end assemblies on Thursday, June 28th at 9 AM and are inviting any media to come and take photographs.
Houghton Public School
Langton, ON N0E 1G0
Saint Frances Cabrini School
373 Northern Ave
Delhi, ON N4B 2R4
For more information about OPHEA, please visit https://www.ophea.net/