Elgin Street Public School, Ontario- Ottawa

elgin street.jpgParents and staff at Elgin Street Public School, in inner city Ottawa, knew that learning to swim was going to be important not only to their students’ physical activity levels but also their water safety. Recent statistics showed that 75% of the population growth in the area was from immigrants, and that  households surrounding the school were also among the most diverse of any large urban centre in Canada. With fewer than half of Canadian children having taken swimming lessons, in addition to the disproportionate at- risk immigrant children, the school has worked with their community to provide students with the fundamentals of swimming.

Student Water Instruction Matters (SWIM) provides the students with free weekly swimming lessons throughout the year. The program serves to enhance recreational opportunities and provide lifesaving swimming training to all 188 students, grades 1 to 6—regardless of socio-economic or cultural status.

The SWIM program is extremely important for these children as it promotes health, well-being and safety, as well as skills that will save lives, prevent water-related injuries and increase awareness of water safety education.

GoodLife Kids Foundation is proud to support this program as it will give all children at Elgin Street Public School the opportunity to engage in a new physical activity which will provide benefits for life.

View photos from Elgin Street Public School below.

 

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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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