What a week it has been! We have absolutely loved getting into the classroom to begin facilitating lessons on different health topics and getting to know each classroom.
The kindergarten class is full of energy and excitement, always ready to play a game, have a dance party or read a story. We had an introduction lesson full of fun games and a hygiene lesson with glitter hands. We spent the most time with the adorable grade ½ class with an introduction and nutrition lesson, a gym class full of energetic octopus’ and seaweed, a small group activity learning to prepare veggies and yoga. The ¾ class is also full of enthusiasm, interested in learning more. We had lessons on sleep and hygiene where we used Jo the Gingerbread Person to learn how we can maintain health and prevent disease. Our wonderful grade ⅚ class, eager to participate and answer questions, created detailed bedtime routines and proudly shared with us the next day that they had slept for 10-11 hours. We had another lesson on nutrition and brainstormed healthy meals. There was lots of interest in how to make healthy tacos, pizzas and burgers. In our inquisitive and energetic 6/7 class, we facilitated a lesson on hygiene and puberty. We also talked about hygiene and sexual health in our 8/9 class. In both classes, there was lots of great discussion and important questions were asked.
In the high school classes of grade 10, 11 and 12, we had lessons on sleep and nutrition. We talked about the stages and benefits of sleep. In turn, the students had a tip for us to sleep better during the extended hours of sunlight: use tin foil or cardboard on our windows. In the nutrition lesson, we measured how much sugar is in one can of pop (which is pretty shocking) to stress the importance of choosing healthy drinks as this was identified as a specific health concern.
We spent lots of time in our free periods throughout the day joining in on gym classes whether it be soccer or dodgeball. Betty, a teacher at CTS, taught us how to bead so we have been spending a lot of our free time (attempting) to make our own keychains. We also had the opportunity to try bannock, that Sophie loved almost as much as her blueberries, and muskox stew, that Naomi definitely enjoyed.
We had our first running club this Tuesday and we were so happy with the outcome! Meeting at the school, we had a stretching circle before starting out for our route. With Naomi at the front with the older students and Sophie in the back with a group of young girls, we were spread out across the main road towards the church. The 25 students were really enthusiastic, giving it their all to run up and down the hills. We had students on bikes and ATVs join in beside us and a few students even pushed their ATV back to the school for exercise. There were dogs running alongside us and music pumping. Once we reached the church, we did a little workout and game of tag before heading back to the school for veggies and dip that were promptly demolished by our exercise enthusiasts. The students loved it and asked to have running club twice a week so we also had another great run on Thursday evening where we eventually met with the younger group up at the park to have a dance party and work out. The students really enjoyed the healthy snack of bananas and peanut butter afterwards.
Since we live in the school, we have the amazing opportunity to connect with students outside of school hours. Every night there is recreation time where the gym is open from 7-10pm. With the younger students first, we hang out and chat or play volleyball and basketball. The students are open to have health chats and ask questions they might not feel comfortable asking in a class setting. The second half of rec time often involves a basketball scrimmage with the very talented older students. This week we were able to have more discussions with elders in the community. We had one particularly insightful conversation regarding suicide and resources for students struggling with mental illness.
On the weekend, we had quite an adventure despite our best effort to relax with students and plan our lessons for next week. On Friday night, we went to George’s, a small 4 walled cement building that doubles as a candy shop, with Jocelyn and Jordan on the quad. The Mackenzie River began to thaw and the ice broke. It was absolutely beautiful and fun to climb on the MASSIVE chunks of ice. There was a Mother’s Day bake sale with some yummy pies. Thinking of our Moms today, we love you! There was a grizzly bear in town so we had a less active weekend. With a broken washing machine and a lice encounter, there was lots of bonding time in the form of ringing out clothes and nit picking. Naomi went to church on Sunday and we watched dance practice at the school during the afternoon. It was a wonderful second week and we are so excited to continue facilitating health lessons!
Love, Sophie and Naomi