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Student Engagement and Leadership

The goal of Student Engagement and Leadership is to provide students with opportunities that will foster their development and build their resiliency. Student engagement is a planned process that prepares youth for the transition from childhood to adulthood. Programs are designed to enable students to participate in ways that best meet their specific developmental needs while helping them reach their full potential. The leadership skills students acquire now will help them make healthier decisions throughout their lives. 

Healthy School Student Clubs

Healthy School Student Club (HSSC) members work closely with the Healthy School Committee to plan and lead activities to make their school a healthier place. Club members develop skills while having fun together. They know the work they do with the club makes a valuable and important difference in their school.

Students can:

  • Take on leadership roles and become actively involved in their schools
  • Talk to peers to find out what health issues and activities are important to them. Together they can find ways to make their suggestions and ideas come alive in their school
  • Contribute to the planning and implementation of the Healthy Schools Action Plan at their school
  • Participate in creating a school environment where every student feels like they belong

Contact your York Region Public Health Nurse to receive assistance in planning your student club or call York Region Health Connection at 1 800 361-5653, TTY 1-866-252-9933.

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Healthy School Student Club Activity Guides

Healthy School Student Activity Guides for Nutrition, Tobacco and Mental Health and Well-Being provide fun ideas and suggestions on how to implement nutrition, tobacco and mental health and well-being messages in your school.

In these guides you will find:

  • Step-by-step instructions to implement activities
  • Worksheets for students
  • Sample tools

If you would like to request a copy of the guides, need more information or additional ideas, please contact your York region Public Health Nurse or call Access York at 1-877-464-9675, TTY 1-866-512-6228.

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Lead On!

A Leadership Skill-Building Presentation for Grades five to eight Students

The Lead On! Workshop teaches students in grades five to eight effective leadership strategies for motivating and engaging their peers in student-run school initiatives.

This interactive workshop is provided by a York Region Public Health Nurse and covers the following topics:  

  • Leadership
  • Communication
  • Conflict resolution
  • Decision-making
  • Stress
  • Motivation

Students who complete this workshop and implement these activities in their school will develop leadership skills, self-confidence and resilience.

For more information, contact your York Region Public Health Nurse or call York Region Health Connection at 1 800 361-5653, TTY 1-866-252-9933.

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Contest and Campaigns

Tobacco-Free Living Campaign

York Region Public Health is pleased to announce the Let's be Tobacco-Free! Campaign. This campaign can be implemented during any of the national tobacco awareness campaigns or anytime throughout the school year.

The week-long campaign consists of easy to use, curriculum-matched activities linking tobacco messages to other health topics including the environment, nutrition, physical activity and media literacy. The activities provide students with the knowledge and skills needed to resist peer pressure and be tobacco-free. While it is linked to grade four curriculum, it can be easily adapted to meet the needs of your entire school.

To get a copy of the campaign guide, or for more information, please contact your York Region Public Health Nurse or call York Region Health Connection at 1 800 361-5653, TTY 1-866-252-9933.

Ready, Set, Create! for secondary schools

The Ready, Set, Create! Contest provides secondary school students an opportunity to identify and promote health related messages to their school community by designing a supporting poster.  This contest’s primary goal is for students to promote youth focused health messaging using a variety of media and drawing on social marketing concepts to engage peers.  The contest provides a variety of learning opportunities for students including:

  • Increasing knowledge of health topics affecting youth
  • Strengthening technology skills and design principles
  • Developing an understanding of marketing, health promotion and media concepts
  • Fostering leadership skills and strengthening interpersonal skills

The contest runs annually from February to April and submissions are accepted starting in November.

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Positive Mental Health, Resiliency and Stigma Reduction

Stress Lesson and Kids have Stress Too

Developed by the Psychology Foundation of Canada these resources help teachers promote effective social-emotional development, resiliency and stress management skills in students in grades one to three and four to six. Students will learn how to recognize and manage their stress and become more self-aware. Public Health Nurses will consult with the classroom teacher and support the activities.

For more information, contact your York Region Public Health Nurse.

Building Healthy Resilient Kids

Parents, caregivers, coaches and teachers all have a role to play in building a child’s resilience and confidence. Foster a child’s resiliency by believing in them and encouraging them to try new things and achieve their goals. Building positive relationships with children is important for them to grow up healthy and confident. Building Healthy Resilient Kids (60 second video)

Mental Health and Wellbeing

Mental health needs to be supported just like physical health. Having mental health promotion activities in your school is a great way to encourage overall well-being for everyone. If you are looking for ideas to get started, check out the Mental Health Sample Action Plans for elementary and secondary schools. For more information please contact your York Region Public Health Nurse or call York Region Health Connection at 1 800 361-5653, TTY 1-866-252-9933.

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