Dozens of school children from Vincent Massey and Bishop Klein schools in Saskatoon took advantage of a beautiful fall day to practice yoga and dance in the field between their schools. Their demonstration was part of an announcement about funding for the Health Promoting Schools Program on October 8.

Students participate in a yoga session to kick off the Health Promoting Schools event.

Students participate in a yoga session to kick off the Health Promoting Schools event.

The federal government invested just over $1.4 million for Saskatoon Health Region to promote the program in schools. “A number of factors affect a person’s health, including education,” says Maura Davies, President and CEO of Saskatoon Health Region. “Education is an important determinant of health status, and health has a strong influence on a person’s ability to learn. The Region and the school divisions have partnered to build a local approach that takes into account these determinants of health.”

Ian Wilson, principal of Vincent Massey School joins students in a dance at the Health Promoting Schools event.

Ian Wilson, principal of Vincent Massey School joins students in a dance at the Health Promoting Schools event.

Health Promoting Schools is unique to each school in order to meet their specific needs. Schools select physical activity, mental health or healthy eating as a priority for the school year and develop activity-based action plans accordingly. Saskatoon Health Region’s program includes 20 schools in the core neighbourhoods of Saskatoon and in rural areas. This is the program’s second year. Participating schools are in Saskatoon Public Schools and Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools as well as in rural school divisions around the city.

Learn more about Health Promoting Schools (http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/hp-ps/fs-fr/2013_0625f-eng.php#wes)