St. Marguerite d’Youville’s efforts to make its school community a healthier place were recognized on June 22nd with a gold certificate from the Ontario Physical and Health Education Association (Ophea) for the second year in a row.
Ophea is a not-for-profit organization that supports healthy active living in schools and communities through quality programs and services, partnerships and advocacy. The Healthy Schools certification program is a 6-step process that guides schools in planning and implementing activities around a priority health topic, such as physical activity, mental health, and/or healthy eating.
St. Marguerite was one of 147 schools across Ontario to be certified at the gold, silver or bronze level, and was one of only two schools in Hamilton to achieve gold certification. Certified at the silver level were Cardinal Newman Catholic Secondary School and St. Joseph Catholic Elementary School.
Practices of the past year resulting in gold certification included a focus on active transportation, smart eating choices, increased water consumption, and greater health literacy.
Extending her congratulations to the Health Action Team, Principal Jenny Frappa noted their work was supported and aided by the Public Health Team and McMaster Nursing students who “helped us on our journey.”
Added teacher and enviro-rep Lucy Hunt: "Our students have grown into more environmentally friendly and health conscious individuals who actively get involved in their school and outside community. Students now make better informed choices and understand that a healthy mind, body, soul and earth are connected with each other and to God."