Students and Teachers Building a Healthy Foundation for a New School

The Heloise Lorimer School in Airdrie is supporting healthy eating and active living with initiatives and partnerships of all kinds . . . students, teachers, parents and community. 

A group of students approached the teaching staff wanting to do more about sustainability.  The WE ECO Sustainability Club was formed and is taking the lead in promoting sustainable living practises, helping students and parents connect with the natural world and promote healthy living.  They have found many creative ways to accomplish these goals.  

For an exercise in self refection, they reached out to an Indigenous Knowledge Keeper to provide an Indigenous understanding of the importance of animals and where humans fit in the cycle of life.  The WE ECO members then challenged their classmates to each create an animal, out of recyclable materials, which represented their best qualities. Another big focus of healthy living for the WE ECO Club is supporting good mental health.  Members of the club have invested time learning how to do yoga and meditate and have then shared this with the younger grades. They have also learned how to fail, specifically how to use their breath to manage their frustration or disappointment when projects they are working on don’t go as planned.

In terms of healthy eating the club has explored growing their own food, including planting and managing a Tower Garden and growing a Patio garden in the spring. The Club uses the produce they grow as a teaching tool.  They have expanded their understanding of what crops grows naturally in Alberta. 

The other side of the coin to healthy eating is being active.  In March the PE department launched two weeks where the focus was “ Drop everything and Be active “.  The PE department worked with local fitness providers to create opportunities for students and parents to try out new ways to be physically active including among others archery, curling and bowling.  This was well received by everyone, community businesses, students and parents.  

Heloise Lorimer School just opened in 2016.   As a new school the students , teachers and parents are forming a strong culture around values of creativity, student driven learning, sustainability, healthy living and strong connections with the community . . . all which is a great foundation for future generations of students and teachers.