ADSB Promoting Health and Wellness

Kyla Faganely, ADSB’s new K-12 Health & Wellness Special Assignment Teacher
Kyla Faganely, ADSB’s new K-12 Health & Wellness Special Assignment Teacher

Algoma District School Board recently welcomed Kyla Faganely on board as the K-12 Health and Wellness Special Assignment Teacher.  Kyla is dedicated to health and fitness promotion and has an extensive background in these areas.

She holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Kinesiology, a Bachelor of Education Degree, and a multitude of fitness certifications and qualifications.  

Over the next several weeks, Algoma District School Board is offering two unique learning and training opportunities focused on health and well-being and Kyla will be helping to oversee these initiatives.  She spoke about these initiatives at ADSB’s Regular Board meeting on Tuesday, April 4th.  

Right To Play

In partnership with the City of Sault Ste Marie who is donating space for free, Algoma District School Board is hosting a Right To Play workshop at Northern Community Centre on April 13th.  The day-long event will see 100 elementary students from eleven ADSB schools and a group of students from Korah who are involved in a Specialist High Skills Major (SHCM) Health & Wellness come together to learn about Right To Play (RTP) and its multi-faceted campaigns.

RTP is a global organization made up of inspirational Coaches, Athlete Ambassadors, staff, supporters and a million playful children. They use play to engage kids in their education, to teach them health lessons and to show them how to build peaceful communities.

Many recognize Right to Play for their work done in third-world countries. However the messages they share around hygiene, sanitation, gender equality, stereotypes and overall health are equally important for local students to hear and understand.  

Ty Greene is the Partnerships Coordinator at Right To Play and he will be leading the session on April 13th.  Using the simplest of equipment he will introduce participants to health focused, play activities.  Through play, he will also encourage them to learn and talk openly about the important health topics that affect them.  Learning about their health and the illnesses that may affect their communities empowers children to stand up against misinformation and negative stigmas. They develop respect for themselves and their bodies and practice tolerance and empathy towards others.

Raise The Bar

The focus of Raise the Bar is to help schools develop more inclusive sport and physical activity programs – specifically intramurals – so that students have more opportunities to engage in sports. The goal is to help schools create a more comprehensive program that meets the needs of all students. The philosophy that drives Raise the Bar is the belief that every student ought to have an opportunity to play sports and be physically active. 

According to Raise the Bar, only 20 – 25% of the student population plays on a school team at most schools. Intramurals however, provide an option for the rest of the student body to play and be active.  Given the current state of physical inactivity with youth, inclusive programs like intramurals provide an excellent option for students looking to play sports and be active.

Why Intramurals? Regardless of skill level, financial status or previous experience, intramural programs provide opportunities for any student to be physically active, play sports and have fun. Raise the Bar believes that we need to drop the term ‘athlete’ for a little while. If we want our students to be active for life, then we need to show them that sports are fun and that anyone can play.

The Raise the Bar training and its corresponding website, provides numerous resources for educators to begin building an intramural program.  Models are shared for elementary and secondary schools and game suggestions are provided for games that are easy to play, take little equipment to set up and are fun to play. Schools are encouraged to keep it simple, as the games chosen will have a major impact on the success of the intramural program.  It is expected that ADSB participants will take what they learn back to their schools and be able to develop their own intramurals programs.

Steve Friesen is the Director and Program Manager of Raise the Bar.  With his background in Health and Physical Education he will spend a day (April 21st) with ADSB staff and student leaders going over some of the essentials around Raise the Bar and how to set up successful intramurals programs in ADSB schools.  

Thirty ADSB schools will be taking part in the day-long session with about 170 students and 30 to 35 teachers.  One Right To Play session was recently run in Guelph and ADSB was chosen as the second and only other location to host a Raise The Bar training session this year.