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MONTREAL SCHOOL BOARDS TEAM UP TO FOSTER HEALTHIER LIFESTYLES IN STUDENTS

MONTREAL, NOVEMBER 23, 2015 – All five Montreal School Boards are working together on the two-year project Mon service de garde physiquement actif or My Daycare is Physically Active, which encourages school daycare staff to plan and implement practices that encourage youth aged four to 12 to be physically active. Two EMSB B.A.S.E. (Before and After School Enrichment) Daycares, Leonardo Da Vinci and Cedarcrest, are participating in the project.

The project stems from the Montréal Physiquement Active action plan, in partnership with Québec en forme, which aims to implement environments conducive to physical activity and to encourage Montrealers to become and remain physically active. A grant of $60,000 is funding the 18 schools participating in the project from the five school boards – Commission scolaire de Montreal (eight schools), Commission scolaire Marguerite-Bourgeoys (four schools), Commission scolaire de la Pointe-de-l’Île (two schools), Lester B. Pearson School Board (two schools), English Montreal School Board (two schools) – and is divided by the total number of daycares in each school board.

The first of three exchange meetings for the two EMSB school Principals and Daycare Technicians took place on October 6. The first Daycare Educator Workshop will take place in November. School daycare technicians and educators participate in six, two-hour workshops over two years on physical activity and the importance of being active every day, followed by practice activities carried out between workshops in their daycares. Other school and daycare staff may also be invited to a workshop, depending on the topic, ensuring that interventions delivered by school and daycare staff are consistent.

A survey on the physical activity needs of the daycares was sent out to all 28 B.A.S.E. Daycares in June 2015. From the schools that replied, two daycares were chosen. Leonardo Da Vinci School is located in the eastern region, is a late-starting school and is one of the biggest daycares with some 280 students. Cedarcrest School is in the western region, is an early-starting school and is a medium sized daycare of approximately 120 students. These two daycares were chosen to determine how well the project progresses in these different environments. :

A committee of 11, two representatives from each school board and one representative from Kino-Quebec, meet regularly to plan and create the workshops for the My Daycare is Physically Active project. B.A.S.E. Project Development Officer, Jennifer De Freitas, and Physical Education and Health Consultant, Katherine Baker, represent the EMSB on the committee.

“Daycare educators are privileged to spend so many hours with students because it allows them to plan and prepare for different physical activities with the children in their care,” says Jennifer De Freitas. “Educators have a responsibility to promote active, healthy lifestyles in daycare students and it is only fitting that a project like this be developed in order to support them in their work. To be given the opportunity to work with the other four schools boards makes a program like this more enriching as it gives us the chance to exchange our experiences and learn from them. It’s nice to see how the challenges are the same within our five school boards and that we’re not alone in finding solutions to these challenges. We’re a strong committee that works well together.”

“This project is addressing a huge need that we see and hear about so often,” says Katherine Baker regarding the 60 minutes a day of physical activity children should be accumulating according to Canadian guidelines. “Animating kids in physical activity settings can be challenging, and providing support to daycare educators so they feel comfortable and competent doing so is an excellent initiative in working towards the goal of increasing physical activity levels. Working on this project has been a great experience. It’s the first time I’ve been part of a project where I’ve worked closely with committee members from all the school boards on the island of Montreal. It really instils a sense of community amongst all of us who work in education. We share the same values and are working towards the same goals.”

2015-2016 Workshops (Year 1)

• The important of Physical Activity: Daycare’s Responsibility in Promoting a Physical Lifestyle Amongst Students
• Animating Safe Physical Activities in Different Settings (Part 1)
• Organizing and Planning Activity Periods
2016-2017 Workshops (Year 2)
• Animating Safe Physical Activities in Different Settings (Part 2)
• Student Guidance and Strategic Supervision
• Daycare’s Privileged Relationship with Parents, and Servicing Students with Special Needs

About the EMSB B.A.S.E Program

The English Montreal School Board’s B.A.S.E. (Before and After School Enriched) Daycare Program is a Quebec government subsidized supervision service offered outside regular class hours for preschool and elementary school children. The B.A.S.E. Daycare Program’s objective is to enhance the lives of children aged four to 12 years old by providing them with enriching educational activities set in a relaxed, safe and nurturing environment.

The B.A.S.E. Daycare Program is a bridge between the classroom and the home, a wonderful transition for both students and parents alike. It thrives at providing students with opportunities to grow and develop through project-based learning. Through the variety of programs offered, students learn life skills they may not have the chance to learn in class or even at home.

For further information, images and interviews please contact:

Jennifer de Freitas, Project Development Officer, B.A.S.E. Daycare Program
(514) 483-7200 ext. 7598
jdefreitas@emsb.qc.ca

Katherine Baker, Physical Education and Health Consultant, EMSB
(514) 483-7200 ext. 7417
KBaker@emsb.qc.ca



Michael J. Cohen
Communications and Marketing Specialist
English Montreal School Board
Tel: (514) 483-7200 ext. 7243
Fax: (514) 483-7213
E-mail: mcohen@emsb.qc.ca