Brownell School, Saskatchewan- Saskatoon

Teacher Janelle Will works to instill a love of movement and a passion for physical activity within her students at Brownell School. With support from GoodLife Kids Foundation, she is able to offer a physical activity program to her students to increase awareness of the various physical activities available and create a deeper knowledge, skill base, and love for movement.

The grant from GoodLife Kids Foundation, for the 2013/2014 school year, will allow 120 students to experience enriched physical activity programming that will permit them to develop not only better physical skills, but social, emotional and personal skills as well. It will also provide students with a greater variety of instruction, both in learning new skills and learning from different instructors beyond what is required by the curricular. Sample activities include yoga, aerobics, martial arts, dance, soccer, tennis and agility.

The program will instill an attitude that physical wellness is a lifelong journey to be enjoyed. By showing at school that being active can be fun, entertaining and creative, the students can take what they have learned in class to their families and share with them how to be physically active for life.

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The Confidence to Try #FEELGOODFRIDAY Lukas is a 10-year-old Raptors fan who plays basketball with his local chapter of Special Olympics, but it wasn’t that long ago that he was afraid to join a team. Lukas is an outgoing kid who likes to make friends and has always been very active. But his early experiences in organized physical activity were not positive. One of his biggest challenges with autism is struggling to follow directions in large groups. He was often told he was doing things wrong and even that he would embarrass the team. “These negative comments deflated his confidence, and he became afraid to try new things,” explained his mom Lisa. When he was eight, Lukas took part in the Sports of All Sorts program at the Geneva Centre for Autism. The supportive environment in the Sports of All Sorts program, funded by a GoodLife Kids grant, was a real game-changer for him. Constant encouragement and positive reinforcement gave Lukas a safe space to explore new activities without a fear of being judged. With one-on-one support he played basketball, baseball, tennis, and golf. “We’re so glad to make physical activity a regular part of Lukas’ life and we’ve found ways for him to continue practicing at home,” said Lisa. “We bought a tennis net for the backyard, and now that he’s not afraid, he loves to go to glow-in-the-dark mini-putt with his dad!” As Lukas turned around on the basketball court to wave to his mom, he gave her two big thumbs up and her eyes welled up with tears of joy. “Watching him enjoy himself, I’m overwhelmed with happiness and pride,” she shared. “He has talents! But most of all, he has regained a belief in himself – that he CAN do it – and that is so powerful.”

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