The session on Increasing Physical Activity in the School Environment- APPLE Schools, at the Global Summit on Physical Activity of Children focused on increasing PA and healthy eating in schools - an Alberta project , using the WHO Comprehensive School Health approach. There are 47 APPLE schools selected as "needy" schools - the program is privately funded. Supports development of action plans unique to each school, but based on a common process. The program has been very effective in getting kids active not just at school but also on non-school days too.
Many of the messages are practical and worthwhile beyond the school environment, reinforcing a message from the Active Healthy Kids Report Card launched today, which made the point that initiatives have to come from many different directions at once:
- Work not just toward equality but equity - make sure everyone has the tools to participate - do they all have running shoes, can they all bring healthy food if that is the message that's going out?
- Plan for everyone, not just the kids who will be active anyway - organized sport activities may only attract the active kids - try alternatives like Zumba.
- Use the evidence you have to make a difference - if a large percentage of population is low-income - don't do fundraising.
- What happens in schools can impact parents and the community - Fort MacMurray schools changed some of the products sold in local grocery stores by creating demand for specific brands of granola bars.
Lots of great resources and examples on the APPLE schools web site.