|THE EMSB B.A.S.E. DAYCARE PROGRAM PRIORITIZES PHYSICAL ACTIVITIES FOR THE 2016-2017 ACADEMIC YEAR.|
MONTREAL, AUGUST 29, 2016 – The English Montreal School Board’s B.A.S.E. (Before and After School Enriched) Daycare Program is hosting its annual conference on Tuesday, August 30, 2016 (8:30 am to 2:30 pm) at Plaza Antique (6086 Sherbrooke Street East). The theme is Motivating Children to be Physically Active.
This year the EMSB will be encouraging all daycare technicians and educators to provide increased opportunities where children aged four to 12 years old can be physically active.
Seven different workshops have been scheduled for the day, as follows:
The workshops are being led by McGill University professors and representatives from Sportball Quebec, the Champions for Life Foundation, BOKS Canada and the Heart and Stroke Foundation.
The B.A.S.E. Daycare Program has decided to prioritize physical activity during the 2016-2017 academic year because as Canadian studies show, only nine per cent of five to 17 year olds get the recommended 60 minutes of heart-pumping physical activity they need each day. Daycare offers children the opportunity to reach the minimum one hour of physical activity per day since they spend, on average, between 20-25 hours in daycare per week.
“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, Project Development Officer for the B.A.S.E. Daycare Program. “Educators have a responsibility to promote active, healthy lifestyles in daycare students and it is only fitting that a conference of this nature be offered to daycare employees in order to support them in their work.”
My Daycare is Physically Active 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 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: Leonardo Da Vinci Academy and Cedarcrest).
A committee of 11 members, two representatives from each school board and one representative from la direction de la santé publique, meet regularly to plan and create workshops for the My Daycare is Physically Active project. Jennifer De Freitas, along with Katherine Baker, the EMSB Physical Education and Health Consultant, are the EMSB representatives on this committee.
“This project is addressing a huge need that we see and hear about so often,” says Ms. 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.”
“To be given the opportunity to work with the other four schools boards makes a program of this nature more enriching as it gives us the chance to exchange our experiences and learn from them,” says Ms.De Freitas. “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.”
About the EMSB B.A.S.E Program
Michael J. Cohen