Win 4 Kids Finalist- Hamilton Wentworth District School Board Foundation

HWDSB_Foundation_-_PHOTO.jpgThe Hamilton Wentworth District School Board Foundation aims to get kids up and moving through Active Recess, while emphasizing the importance of health and wellness.

Active Recess promotes wellness and healthy living through a variety of programming, skills development, team culture and healthy lifestyle behaviours. By providing new equipment for extra-curricular activities and an outstanding training program children will be encouraged to be more active through coordination from staff, parent volunteers and intermediate student leaders.

Win 4 Kids funding will be used in the following way:

  • Equipment: to be purchased that will greatly enhance student participation in physical activities.
  • Education: Students will be instructed through movement and will be able to take the tools and facts home with them to make changes and to share with their families.
  • Character building goals will be addressed through positive social interaction and team building activities.
  • Student leadership: skills and opportunities for the intermediate students will be supported as recess ambassadors and trained in a variety of leadership principals through workshops.
  • Training: Workshops will be delivered for staff and student leaders who will assist in the implementation of the program. The focus of each workshop is to enable the student leaders to learn at least three new games and be equipped to develop their own games that will work for their schools.

Julie Densham nominated Active Recess for Win 4 Kids. She says, “Active Recess will increase the physical activity of elementary students and instill life-long habits that will serve to shape and prepare them for a more active and less sedentary lifestyle choice.” She continues, “Boys and girls are involved in games of skill, balance and agility. School Climate and Engagement consultants train staff and student leaders in implementation of restorative justice and peer mediation to ensure that if conflict arises during active play, students feel equipped with language to mediate situations.” 


Students who participate in Active Recess activities seem more settled after the program as it gives them something positive to do at breaks, and allows them to make good choices by modeling appropriate behavior with far less playground conflicts. Students are also speaking the language of the Active Recess ambassadors (“We play for fun”, “It doesn’t matter who wins”.) An area of notice is with some at-risk students who are assisting with the program.  Student leadership is on the rise and positively affecting other areas of the school day.

- Jamie McLean, Teacher, Pauline Johnson Elementary School 


Twitter: @HWDSBFoundation



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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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