Orangeville elementary school celebrates gold certification in Healthy Schools program

June 27, 2024   ·   0 Comments

By Joshua Drakes

To celebrate their first gold certification in the Healthy Schools program, kids at Princess Margaret Public School enjoyed a lively play day filled with various activities promoting healthy living.

Andrea Papavasiliou, the school’s principal, expressed her pride in the collaborative effort of the staff and students.

“I am incredibly proud of our Healthy Schools team,” she said. “This is the first year that we have completed the certification process and to achieve gold is amazing.”

Papavasiliou attributed the success to the dedication of both staff and students, who earned a fun day of celebration.

“It speaks to the hard work of our staff,” she said. “Today’s play day was a celebration of our gold certification and it was wonderful to see students and staff being active and enjoying a nutritious treat together.”

Student leadership plays a vital role in initiatives like Healthy Schools. Princess Margaret has a student advocacy group that helps lead their efforts, creating posters and encouraging classmates to participate in programs put together by the staff.

This was the school’s first application, and they achieved gold certification, outperforming schools from across the province.

The Healthy Schools program, administered by the Ontario Physical and Health Education Association (OPHEA), a non-profit organization that promotes active living in schools, encourages schools to reflect on their promotion of healthy lifestyles and physical activity. Staff and students collaborate to identify the school’s strengths and areas for improvement.

After developing an action plan to enhance their school, Princess Margaret submitted it to OPHEA for an audit.

The school discovered they excelled in many areas, such as community connections for sports events and education, as well as regular play day activities.

Their plan focused on expanding existing initiatives and increasing the number of play days and events that promote good health and exercise.

Following the review, the school was awarded gold certification and received a $500 grant to support its goals. In addition to their grant, the school will receive a banner to display as a formal recognition of their gold status.

To celebrate this achievement, the school organized a play day on Friday, June 14.

The play day featured various stations designed to engage students physically and mentally.

Activities included tug-of-war, where two teams of kids battled for victory, with even teachers joining in to support their students.

Other stations featured bean bag tosses, a large multi-colour parachute, obstacle courses, and even a nature journaling station.

At this station, students were tasked with finding something in their immediate vicinity, bringing it back to a sheet of paper, and drawing it. This allowed the kids to slow down, clear their minds, and focus on their surroundings.

When not participating in active stations, students rotated through a snack area to rest and replenish their energy before moving on to the next activity.

Despite still riding high on their achievements, Princess Margaret Public School is already planning new ways to promote exercise and wellness, in a never-ending commitment to keep their students happy and healthy.

Readers Comments (0)

Please note: Comment moderation is enabled and may delay your comment. There is no need to resubmit your comment.