Subject: Healthy Schools Connection Newsletter - April 2019

Volume 19 Issue 2
Say hello to the new Canada’s food guide

Canada’s food guide was just released and it takes a fresh approach to healthy eating. Say good bye to the rainbow, and say hello to the Eat Well. Live Well Plate.

The main focus of the new Food Guide is about food choices and healthy eating habits.
Make it a habit to eat a variety of healthy food choices each day: 

Healthy eating is more than the foods you eat. It is also about where, when, why and how you eat.
Cannabis Information for Educators

The legalization of recreational cannabis for adults who are 19 or older gives educators an opportunity to promote critical thinking around substance use. It also encourages students to engage in personal decision-making, now and in the future, that will help them to achieve their short-and long-term goals. While it is illegal for Ontario youth under the age of 19 to use, buy, possess, cultivate or share recreational cannabis, legalization for adults may prompt students to think more about this issue and come forward with questions.

To help educators have informed conversations with students about recreational cannabis, CAMH has developed the fact sheet Cannabis: What Educators Need to Know.

To download your copy, visit:

Handling needles safely

With spring weather here, and communities and schools starting to clean up what is left behind, the Northwestern Health Unit would like to use this opportunity to educate staff and students about what to do if needles or other sharp objects are found.

Public Health Nurses are available for presentations on safe needle pickup (grades 7-12) and “Don’t Touch” presentations for young children (JK-grade 6). If you would like more information, resources or a presentation, please contact your local Northwestern Health Unit office.

Resources for your school are available free of charge and in both English and French.

Win – Win! Students learn about immunization & someone in need gets a vaccine

Kids Boost Immunity is a website with free lessons and interactive quizzes that mirror science, health, and social studies curriculum. For every quiz that is completed, the site donates a vaccine to someone in need! Visit:

Increasing students’ knowledge about immunization helps everyone stay healthy. 

Plan. Prepare. Be Aware. Emergency Preparedness Week is May 5 – 11, 2019

An emergency can happen to anyone at any time. It is recommended that you have everything you and your family will need for at least 72 hours in an emergency. Are you prepared?

Looking for ways to incorporate Emergency Preparedness Week into your activity plans? has a toolkit that includes facts about emergency preparedness, quizzes, a “Can You Build a Kit” game, and other resources you might find useful. 

Need help planning for emergencies? Check out these videos to learn about how to make an emergency plan and prepare an emergency kit.

Be Prepared!

Mental Health Awareness Week May 6-10

Children and youth spend a good portion of every day in school, ten months of the year, from as early as age three. This setting offers tremendous opportunity each day to help students to learn and practice social-emotional skills and mentally healthy habits within welcoming, caring, and inclusive settings.

Mental Health Awareness Week is May 6-10. What can educators do? Using every day mental health practices, educators can help students to identify and manage their emotions, build and maintain relationships, deepen their identity and sense of mattering, learn how to manage stress, and maintain an optimistic outlook. Check out: for more information.

Great Big Crunch $100 Draw Winner!

Congratulations to New Prospect Public School that shared details of their Great Big Crunch and was randomly drawn to receive $100 to spend on healthy food or physical activity equipment!

The Great Big Crunch celebrates healthy eating and March Nutrition Month by having all students take a synchronized bite of a crunchy fruit or vegetable. Crunchers in Northwestern Ontario this year enjoyed apples and carrots!
Thank you to all participating schools and especially those that shared details of their crunch with us:
  • Red Lake Madsen Public School
  • New Prospect Public School
  • St. Thomas Aquinas High School
  • Open Roads Public School
  • Lillian Berg Public School
Raise the Bar Intramural Program – new program from Ophea

Ophea’s Raise the Bar Intramural Program has everything you need to help plan and run quality, inclusive, and sustainable intramurals. The program is free-of-charge and provides an easy-to-follow 4-step process with tools to keep you on track and monitor your success, fun new intramural activities to try out, and the opportunity to be recognized as an Ophea Intramural Participant School. Applications will be accepted until May 31, 2019.

Access the program at

Connecting for Healthy Schools

NWHU staff can support schools to become healthier places to live, work and play. Check out our Connecting for Healthy Schools resource to learn all the ways we can partner with your school! Contact your local health unit or email to request a printed copy of this resource.

Like this newsletter? Let other educators and school staff know they can subscribe too by sending an email to with “subscribe” in the subject line.

Share your Healthy School success stories and receive a prize pack for your school! Stories can be emailed to

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Northwestern Health Unit, 210 First Street North, P9N2K4, Kenora, Canada
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