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MONTREAL, OCTOBER  26  2009-  Singer Eva Avila, the 2007 winner of CTV’s Canadian Idol, visited St. John Bosco Elementary School in Ville Émard October 26   as part of the   nationwide “At My Best” Program, which focuses  on three areas of  wellness of children: physical activity, healthy eating and emotional well-being.

At My Best ( is a free comprehensive curriculum-supported toolkit for children in  Kindergarten to Grade 3. It combines physical activity, healthy eating and emotional well-being and aims to support  the optimal physical and emotional development of children by inspiring and motivating them to make healthier choices today, and develop lifelong healthy habits.  Canada has one of the highest childhood obesity rates in the developed world, ranking fifth out of 34 Organization for Economic and Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries.

Developed by Physical & Health Education Canada (PHE Canada), with generous support from AstraZeneca Canada, At My Best offers curriculum-based lesson plans along with numerous teaching resources, including classroom posters, task cards, blackline masters, music CDs, storybook and take-home materials. The program is being used at six EMSB schools: St. John Bosco, Bancroft in the Plateau, East Hill and Leonardo Da Vinci in RDP, John Caboto in Ahuntsic, St. Dorothy in St. Michel and St. Gabriel in Point St. Charles. 

Eva Avila greeted the students, led them in some exercises, stressed the importance of exercising and staying in shape and sang a song. She then introduced PHE Canada  mascot Rae, a big yellow figure shaped like the sun. St. John Bosco Principal Tony Pita  invited  PHE Canada  representative Gordon Oliver and Nicole Gagnon from AstraZeneca to say a few words.

“As a school that understands the importance of proper nutrition, physical activity and emotional health for our students, incorporating this program into our curriculum has been seamless and well received by teachers and students alike,” stated Mr. Pita.
Ms. Avila told the students how she has had a chance to travel across the country to meet with students who are learning how to be active and healthy. “One of the things I’ve learned is that being healthy makes you feel so much better about yourself.”

Added Mr. Oliver : “The children here today are a group of tens of thousands of children in this country who are learning how to be at their best through understanding proper nutrition, the benefits of physical activity and the very unique emotional component of this initiative. This is an exciting time for schools in this country as we are fortunate to have such a comprehensive program delivered at no cost to 1,000 schools in this country.”

As the mother of four children, Ms. Gagnon congratulated the students for their commitment to this program.

Another special guest at the school was Sami Boutaleb, who plans to climb Mount Kilimanjaro to raise funds for the At My Best program.  


Michael J. Cohen
Communications and Marketing Specialist
English Montreal School Board
Tel: (514) 483-7200 ext. 7243
Fax: (514) 483-7213