Healthy Schools Day, which will take place this year on April 8, is a Canadian initiative seeking to raise awareness and encourage action for the environment in schools.
Équiterre has always been acutely aware of the importance of educating young people about healthy and environmentally responsible lifestyles, both for their own health and for that of the planet. Some of Équiterre's environmental education projects include decarbonizing school transportation and promoting healthy and local food in schools.
How is your school celebrating Healthy Schools Day? Whether you are a parent or a staff member, you have the power to encourage a healthy school environment for our youth. Here are a few Équiterre initiatives that you can share with your school.
My Charged Up School
In addition to being one of the most polluting sectors in the country, transportation has a negative impact on our health and the health of our children.
Decarbonizing school transportation can significantly reduce toxic exhaust gases and greenhouse gas emissions and is therefore an important step toward improving our health and the quality of our living environments.
With the My Charged Up School campaign, Équiterre is raising awareness among young people about the challenges of sustainable mobility, its impact on our environment and the benefits of electrifying transportation.
The project developed a series of free interactive educational tools, available for teachers and students at the elementary and secondary levels, with the help of the Fondation Monique Fitz-Back.
Have a look at the tools, and share them with your school to encourage the administration to make the shift to sustainable, electric transportation.
Schools Take Root
What if teaching children about healthy eating was also a way to fund projects in your school? It’s possible, with Équiterre’s Schools Take Root initiative, launched in 2016.
Much more than just a simple fundraising campaign, Schools Take Root is an educational project that gives youth an opportunity to acquire a taste for local vegetables, and it supports local farmers. The sale of organic vegetable baskets by schools (produced and delivered by farmers of the Family Farmers Network!) is a unique opportunity to educate the students, their families and staff members about healthy, local and environmentally responsible food.
"I like being able to see concrete changes. For example, I love to hear that a school has kept in touch with the farm that delivered its baskets, and that its students participated in the farm's harvest the next year," states Clara Canac, Food Education Project Advisor at Équiterre.
Do you want to participate in the 2021 edition of Schools Take Root? It's simple:
- Find out more about how the project works and present it to your school council;
- Register your institution;
- Promote the campaign among youth and their families using the tools provided by Équiterre;
- Coordinate the delivery of the baskets within your institution on the scheduled dates.
From Farm to School
Équiterre is the regional coordinator of the pan-Canadian Farm to School project, mobilizing the educational community and supporting schools in the implementation of sustainable food education projects and local food procurement initiatives.
The goal of the project is to encourage Quebec schools to increase the presence of healthy, local and environmentally responsible foods in the minds and on the plates of Quebec elementary and secondary school students. It helps foster ties between schools and their communities, through schoolyard gardens, culinary workshops, salad bars and fundraising campaigns - all focused on local and organic vegetables.
How and why should I encourage my school to participate?
Farm to School provides grants to elementary and secondary schools across the country to fund special projects and initiatives designed to empower students and school communities to help build strong and resilient local food systems.
Join our mailing list to learn more about the next available grants for which your school can apply.
In the meantime, find out more about the Quebec Farm to School initiative and talk to your school to encourage them to participate. The benefits to students, communities, local farmers and local food systems are significant.
Every day should be Healthy Schools Day! This year, use April 8 as an opportunity to encourage your school to take on new initiatives!