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LISA MACDOUGALL: P.E.I. Home and School Federation has focused on the importance of collaboration and healthy school communities

The wellness of children continues to be a priority of the P.E.I. Home and School Federation. SUBMITTED PHOTO
The wellness of children continues to be a priority of the P.E.I. Home and School Federation. SUBMITTED PHOTO

The work of the P.E.I. Home and School Federation in 2017 has focused on the importance of collaboration and healthy school communities in our work toward the well-being and education of all Island children.

We continue to advocate for a universal provincial school food program. In the meantime, work is already underway in schools that received the provincial government’s Community Food Security and Food Education Program funding, including East Wiltshire, Charlottetown Rural, Morell High, Morell Consolidated, Westisle, and Tignish. More information on the program can be found on the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries website. To be involved in this work, contact alocal home and school association.

The federation has supported the School Health Action Planning and Evaluation Survey (SHAPES) since it began in 2008. The survey gathers information about students in Grades 5-12 and reports on trends in mental fitness, physical activity and health eating. The findings tell us that there is more work to be done to ensure the health of our young people and that collaborative action from schools, communities and government is imperative. To discuss this survey with your school community, contact Sterling Carruthers at the department of education, early learning and culture.

The Public Health Agency of Canada released the Report on the State of Public Health in Canada, 2017: Designing Healthy Living in October. For home and school associations that would like to take a leadership role in the health of their communities, this document can be found on the Public Health Agency of Canada website.

The Home and School Federation has a handful of policies relating to the health and wellness of young people, including everything from first aid training for teachers to substance abuse prevention and discipline policies. Local associations who wish to hold discussion groups on these topics and others are welcome to email office@peihsf.ca or phone 902-620-3186 or 1-800-916-0664. The website also offers a wealth of information, including links to past resolutions, progress in advocating for a universal provincial school food program, the Help My Child website, and a resource list for speakers for your local meetings.

Every year at the AGM, delegates discuss issues raised by our membership, determine through a voting process whether they become organization policy, and decide the focus of the work of the provincial federation for the next year. Local home and school associations are encouraged to collaborate within their own school communities, as well as within their family of schools to identify priority issues that may be addressed at a provincial level. Resolutions should be submitted to the P.E.I. Home and School Federation office by Jan. 31.

The P.E.I. Home and School Federation Extra Mile Awards are opportunities to recognize those within the school system who go above and beyond the call of duty to support our students. The submission deadline is Jan. 12.

The P.E.I. Home and School Federation’s 65th annual meeting and conference is April 14 at the Rodd Charlottetown Hotel.

Lisa MacDougall, president of the P.E.I. Home and School Federation, lives in North Rustico with her husband and two children. Her column appears in The Guardian during the school year on the first Thursday of the month. She welcomes comments from readers and information for the column. She can be reached at peihsf.ca or 902-620-3186.

 

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