Your children attend an APPLE School but what does that mean?!
APPLE Schools is an innovative school-based health promotion initiative that benefits school communities across Canada.
Since 2010, APPLE Schools has been impacting the lives of more than 13,000 students annually in 34 schools in the municipality of Wood Buffalo by improving physical activity, nutrition, and mental health habits.
How does APPLE do that?
APPLE Schools empowers school communities to lead, choose and be healthy by providing resources and supports for schools to create their own plan for wellness, and then put it into action.. A school health champion (SHC) at each school works with students, parents, school staff, and community members to make the healthy choice the easy choice. Every APPLE School is unique and builds different initiatives into their plans from classroom gardens to cultural experiences to taste testing and beyond! All schools are also provided direct support from an experienced School Health Mentor, who helps bring healthy activities to life in each community.
Does APPLE Schools actually make a difference?
Yes! We are an evidence based project and have proven that we have a positive impact on the wellbeing of our communities.
Our schools have consistently demonstrated:
- Increased physical activity
- 35% increase in physical activity, including 2-3 times more steps taken per day
- Increases in physical activity during school hours, afterschool hours, and on weekends
- Improved dietary habits
- Students eat 10% more fruits and vegetables
- Improved mental health
- Students have fewer mental health visits to the doctor during adolescence than students who did not attend an APPLE school during childhood
- Improvements in learning outcomes
- Students show improved quality of life, leadership abilities, productivity and learning outcomes
How can families get involved?
Here are a few ways that you can engage with your child to learn more about healthy living in your school community:
Ask your child what the current APPLE monthly campaign, or monthly theme, is. They could be learning about the importance of being respectful when talking to others about health through our Say What? campaign or moving their bodies through our 12 Days of Fitness. Morning announcements, bulletin boards and classroom activities are all part of the fun!
APPLE Schools home challenges, like the “What’s the Commotion about Emotions?” challenge, are an awesome tool to connect healthy habits at home with activities at school. You could even go one step further by matching an at home challenge with the monthly campaign your school is currently participating in for ultimate impact.
Ask your school’s principal how you can support the goals of the school action plan. The development, implementation and achievement of the school goals are most impactful when the community is part of the process.
Visit our website to sign up for our APPLE Slice parent newsletter. We share ideas, resources and activities to support mental health, physical activity and healthy eating for the whole family.
How can you support the innovative work that APPLE is doing?
The APPLE Schools Foundation is a registered charity and 100% funded by corporate and private donors. We ask for no financial commitment from the schools we support. Donating to APPLE Schools is the best way to ensure that we can continue to impact over 30,000 students annually in schools across Canada.
Healthy kids are happy kids, and happy kids are ready to learn!