Health Everywhere: International Wellness and Fitness
Created November 20, 2012 by Karine Hebert
The project combines our school’s international students from China with the at-risk students from our alternative classroom four mornings a week to conduct various activities that teach the students about nutrition. The project combines the aforementioned learning with regular physical exercise during this time. Students learn which foods to buy, how to buy local, how to budget, how to determine what to consume and quantities. They learn to cook, shop and budget balanced meals and to integrate physical activity into their daily routine; students become conscious of the impact of nutrition and exercise on their daily lives, health and their ability to cope with academic, environmental and familial stressors. Four mornings a week students are taught about nutrition and health through various classroom, kitchen and gymnasium activities. Activities such as a food log to evaluate their current eating habits, cooking and physical exercise four times a week are utilized. Students go on field trips to the grocery store, the local market and Chinatown and have “cook-offs” with a healthy version of an unhealthy recipe that they have created, budgeted and shopped for amongst other activities. The project helps youth adopt a healthier lifestyle through nutrition and exercise which in turn positively impacts other facets of their lives. Through morning exercise and healthy eating students are better equipped to meet the requirements of their days. Furthermore as this project is a joint venture between an alternative classroom and our schools international students, there is the added benefit of increased cultural awareness and sensitivity as well as mentoring for students newly residing in Canada. School involvement, exercise and nutrition have all been proven elements of school success, lowered drop-out rates and a healthier self-image; this project combines these three influential factors.