|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.
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)
For further information, images and interviews please contact:
Jennifer de Freitas, Project Development Officer, B.A.S.E. Daycare Program
Katherine Baker, Physical Education and Health Consultant, EMSB
Michael J. Cohen