The DDSB school wins Healthy School Award and gains Ontario EcoSchool status.
By Sarah Racioppa
Fifty schools in the Durham District School Board were presented with the Healthy Schools Award on behalf of Durham Region Public Health for the 2017/2018 year. Among them was David Bouchard Public School. For their hard work and dedication, they also received a gold star in healthy eating, and a $100 cheque to put towards a healthy school program for next year.
Grade 8 students share what they learned about sugary beverages with Grade 1
students during their healthy living fair.
Jessica Long, Teacher-Librarian at David Bouchard PS, says that Grade 6 and 8 students learned important information about healthy living. "They learned about serving sizes, food safety, and that water is the best thirst-quencher."
In the fall, Long and a group of Grade 6 students went to Oshawa's Civic Recreation Complex to attend the Healthy Kids Community Challenge. Students gained a multitude of ideas for activities that they could introduce to their school.
Over the course of the school year, students in all grades who were seen eating fruits and vegetables for lunch had their names entered in a draw. At monthly assemblies, the Grade 6 students shared key messages about living healthy, and then drew names for prizes.
The Grade 8 students planned a healthy living fair with the help of their school's Public Health Nurse Kelly Ward. They set up stations in the library and shared what they learned with Grade 1 classes – specifically, how to live a healthy lifestyle.
Long says, "I'm hoping that the knowledge they have acquired and shared will encourage them to continue living healthy."
Gold level certified
David Bouchard PS is not only involved in promoting healthy lifestyles, they also care about the environment.
Garden Club and Teacher Stephanie Noble care for the beautiful flower beds.
They are an officially certified Ontario EcoSchool. There are four levels of certification: bronze, silver, gold, and platinum. David Bouchard PS has achieved gold, the second highest level, and it's only their first year of certification.
"We are so proud to celebrate our first year becoming a certified EcoSchool," says Caroline Mills, Special Education Teacher. "Being awarded gold was even more exciting, as we have worked really hard all year as a school community to be more environmentally responsible and aware."
The school's Eco Club introduced various eco-friendly initiatives over the course of the school year. Along with recycling and Earth Hour/Day, the Grade 3 classes have a compost program, the Kindergarten students nurture and hatch butterflies, and the Garden Club cares for the flower beds. Also in the name of re-using, the Eco Club collected toys and ran a toy drive so that students could take one home with them before school was out.
"Students have grown in confidence, knowledge, and experience during the process of being recognized as an EcoSchool," says Gail Spackman, Teacher and Eco Club Leader. "They have learned to work as a team, and have taken the lead in our school to educate their peers about being ecologically responsible."