What is a Health Champion Anyway?
A health champion is a school staff member with an interest in making their school a healthier place. Health champions work in partnership with the school community to foster healthy eating, active living and positive mental health. They identify school wellness needs, connect the school to resources, and set and achieve wellness goals.
Basically, a health champion is someone who knows that healthy students learn better! Check out these 8 proven ways that healthy schools boost student success.
Now that you’re a health champion, what do you need to know to survive?
Survival Tip #1 – Use the supports around you
Moving and Choosing is a community based coalition promoting healthy growth and development of children and youth. One of our main objectives is to support health champions in building healthy school environments. We do this through utilizing strong community partnerships that link schools to programs, resources and supports which promote active living, healthy eating and positive mental health.
As a health champion working in a school settings, your key contact is the Health Promotion Coordinator (HPC). For contact information, click here. Health Promotion Coordinators support school jurisdictions in facilitating various aspects of the Comprehensive School Health approach, including:
- Support with school health assessment
- School health action planning
- Grant writing support
- Healthy school policy development and implementation
- Professional development
- Grant and funding opportunities
- Anything else you might need, just ask!
Survival Tip #2 – Connect with other health champions
In Southeastern Alberta, health champions are part of the Moving and Choosing Health Champion Network. Through this network you are connected to all other health champions in the four school jurisdictions (Medicine Hat Public School Division No.76, Medicine Hat Catholic Board of Education, Grasslands Public School Division and Prairie Rose School Division). Your HPC can connect you with others in the Health Champion Network.
Survival Tip #3 – Attend Moving and Choosing events
Moving and Choosing partners come together to provide wellness focused professional development sessions at the Southeastern Alberta Teachers Convention each year. Be on the lookout for a poster in early 2019 that showcases all the wellness sessions at teachers convention.
We also offer a workshop in the spring that is specially designed to provide additional PD and networking opportunities for health champions. This Regional School Health Champion workshop is open to all health champions in Southeastern Alberta. Your HPC will contact you with more information ahead of time.
Survival Tip #4 – Peruse our website, check your email and follow us on social media.
The Moving and Choosing website offers you tons of resources, including resource kits you can borrow from our lending library. Beyond this, your HPC will be sending you resources and opportunities related to Comprehensive School Health all throughout the school year via email. We also share lots of important stuff on Twitter, so follow @MovingChoosing.
Some of the things we might share with you include:
- Research and data that supports your case in making healthy changes in your school (like this blog post)
- Grant and funding opportunities that might be of interest
- New and exciting resources that you can use to make your school healthier
- Newsletter content that can be shared monthly
- Community programs and services that your school/classroom could access
- Information on upcoming Moving and Choosing events
- And so much more!
Survival Tip #5 – Check out these key websites
These sites are important for you to familiarize yourself with.
|General Comprehensive School Health and Wellness|
|Alberta Health Services|
|Alberta Healthy Schools Community Wellness Fund|
|Joint Consortium for School Health|
|Ever Active Schools|
|Alberta Health Services Nutrition Services|
|Be Fit for Life Network|
|Health and Physical Education Council of Alberta|
|Positive Mental Health|
|Alberta Health Services Addiction and Mental Health|
|Mental Health Capacity Building in Schools Initiative|
|Alberta School Employee Benefit Plan (ASEBP)|
We look forward to supporting you in the 2018/2019 school year!