Healthy, Safe and Caring Schools

UPDate February 2016

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Pink Shirt Day February 24, 2016

This year’s theme for Pink Shirt day is KINDNESS. We all have the capacity to spread kindness which is the underlying philosophy behind the anti-bullying movement: a movement we hope lives year round beyond Pink Shirt Day. After all, kindness never goes out of style!

If you would like to help spread the message of kindness in your school through posters (see samples below) you can download them at Healthy, Safe and Caring Schools website

Try A Little Kindness with Lyrics.wmv

Supporting Social and Emotional Wellbeing WellAhead Update 2016

Beginning January 2016 pilot schools have begun the work of “prototyping” — trying out and evaluating the two chosen everyday practices 2 x 10 and Appreciating School Community (see below for descriptions) to understand how they work, evaluate their impact, and determine how they can be spread further.

The Greater Victoria School District is a participating district in the WellAhead Initiative. WellAhead is a philanthropic initiative of the J.W. McConnell Family Foundation that is guiding six BC school districts through a community-led process. This process will bring multiple stakeholders together to identify ways to enhance and support the integration of social and emotional wellbeing into school communities. For more information visit


2 x 10 involves school staff members engaging in a casual conversation with a student. Casual conversations will explore topics that students find fun and interesting, and won’t focus on student behaviours or academics. Once they have connected with a student a minimum of 10 times a foundation for a relationship has been built which will be continued over the remainder of the school year. Read more


In the “Appreciating School Community” practice, students are greeted with a celebratory acknowledgement in transition periods throughout the school day (when students arrive at school or when they are leaving school, or between classes). As the bell rings staff groups gather to greet students and celebrate with them in a fun and creative way. Read more
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Real Acts of Caring

Real Acts of Caring Week (RAC) Feb 14-20 occurs just before Pink Shirt Day which is Feb 24. The focus of Pink Shirt Day this year is kindness so these two special events complement each other beautifully. RAC is doing something kind and caring for another and not expecting anything back in return. RAC began in the Coquitlam School District in 2005 and since then has spread to thousands of students. This year, students at Maple Creek Middle School sent six thousand RAC posters out to all school districts in January. Students are even having a provincial proclamation passed which recognizes RAC Week!

Stress Busters Youth Group

CLICK ON PICTURE TO ENLARGE Blanshard Community Center is offering a free anxiety group for youth ages 13-17 to learn cognitive behavioral therapy skills to better manage their anxiety. It begins after school on Feb. 11th. For more information contact Laurie at 250- 532-7891 or

The Mindful Educator Program at Royal Roads

Royal Roads is offering a Mindful Educator Program on Feb 13/14. Mindfulness-based interventions may be incorporated into various educational and mental health care settings to increase social-emotional intelligence and levels of concentration. Participants will survey a variety of contemporary and evidence-based applications of mindfulness and mindfulness meditation in the educational systems.

Protective Factors as a Path to Better Youth Mental Health

Many factors contribute to the mental health problems that youth face. This New Brunswick Health Council study emphasizes the importance of effectively managing risk factors, as well as giving more attention to promoting protective factors and building resilience. Key protective factors include ensuring youth know where they can get help, increasing their feelings of belonging at school, of being treated fairly in the community, and ensuring they get enough sleep.

100 Girls Victoria

100 Girls Victoria is a group of 8-13 year-olds who meet three times a year to pool their money (between $1 and $10 each) and choose a charity to donate to (based on the 100 Women Who Care). This is a way to help encourage the next generation to give back. For more information email or read more on their Facebook page.

National Aboriginal Youth Conference

Gathering Our Voices takes place in Victoria from March 21-24. Workshops will be grounded in cultural teachings and each delegate will have a chance to select from 60 different workshops. The goal is to provide youth with a unique experience and a chance to positively engage with each others.

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Drop In

CLICK ON PICTURE TO ENLARGE Victoria Youth Empowerment Society in collaboration with the University of Victoria is starting a Queer, Questioning, Trans and Allied youth group on February 9th at 6:00 pm at the Fairfield Community Centre. The drop in will provide a safe space for youth ages 15-19 to connect with peers and community mentors. Check out the facebook group for more information.

Leading the Way: Working with LGBT Athletes and Coaches Webinars

These webinars will profile resources developed for coaches and sport administrators to learn best practices and tips to make sport more welcoming to LGBT athletes and coaches. Key topics highlighted will include how to use inclusive language and address disrespectful language, addressing locker room concerns, and more. March 22ndat 12:00pm – 1:30pm EST. For more information email

C.A.L.L. Out

CLICK ON PICTURE TO ENLARGE The C.A.L.L. Out! Project is a capacity building and wellness initiative that seeks to create more welcoming and inclusive communities for Lesbian, Gay, Bi, Trans, Two-Spirit & Queer youth across BC by strengthening their existing support networks. All support is provided completely free of charge. If you’d like to get involved email or call 1-877-515-3668.

2015 Rise Against Homophobia Youth Short Video Contest winner!
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Eating Disorders Awareness

The love our bodies, love ourselves! movement, brought to you by the Provincial Eating Disorders Awareness campaign, is launched with activities and events taking place throughout the year. It is a province wide effort to raise awareness around prevention and early intervention of eating disorders as well as media literacy, resiliency, building healthy body image and self-esteem.

How Educators Can Harness the Benefits of Exercise

How long can students pay attention in class, and how should lessons be structured to capture attention? What is the best way to study? Once students learn information, how can we ensure that this information is put to use in novel situations, and how can we enhance problem solving and critical thinking? There are numerous studies in psychology that present a significant opportunity to implement evidence-based solutions in our schools. Read more...

Food Skills for Youth

CLICK ON PICTURE TO ENLARGE Quadra Village Community Centre is hosting a Food Skills for Youth program starting in March. If you know a youth who might be interested they can email or text 250-891-4083.

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Childhood and Nature

David Sobel's "Childhood and Nature: Design Principles for Educators" is a worthy read for anyone interested in or already engaging children in outdoor learning. The book is a series of essays that focus on ways educators can set up learning experiences to spark a deep love of learning in our students. Chapter 6: Authentic Curriculum is a real gem!

Fresh to You Fundraiser

BC Agriculture in the Classroom Foundation's Fresh to You Fundraiser program provides healthy bundles of locally grown produce for you to sell to family and friends. Schools can make a 40% profit by selling bundles of healthy BC grown vegetables such as, potatoes, peppers and butternut squash. Click here to learn more and how you can apply!

Get Outside Put a Bird on it

Get outside with free backyard bird I.D. cards from Nature Kids BC. Cards are available for 5 regions of B.C. and feature birds you are likely to find in your backyard or school yard. What makes them even better is that the cards are also available in languages such as Punjabi and Korean.

BC Green Games' Storytelling Competition

Science World is calling on students in grades K-12 to submit a video or photo essay project that highlights their school’s greenest achievements. Entries received by March 1st have a chance at winning cash and prizes for their green team. Plus, all participating teams are invited to attend a free science centre field trip and awards ceremony.

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Whole Foods Grant

Farm to Cafeteria Canada and the Whole Kids Foundation in partnership with the Public Health Association of BC, Farm to School BC and Sustain Ontario announced a new Farm to School grant program that will deliver $500,000 to schools in Ontario and BC. These grants, valued at up to $10,000 each, will bring the harvest to schools by funding Farm to School Salad Bar programs that engage students and community in gardening, cooking, preserving, purchasing and serving healthy local food at school. Grant guidelines and application can be found on the Farm to Cafeteria Canada website here and are due on March 15, 2016.

Upcoming Grant Opportunities

HCTF GO Grant Deadline: Feb. 15, 2016

TD Friends of the Environment Foundation Fund Deadline: Feb. 15, 2016

GoodLife Kids Foundation Grant Program Deadline: Feb. 19, 2016

Science World's BC Green Games Deadline: Feb. 29, 2016

Arts in Education Council of BC Fund Deadline: Apr. 8, 2016

RBC-Evergreen Watershed Champions Award Deadline: Apr. 8, 2016

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For more grant opportunities visit the Healthy, Safe and Caring Schools website

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Cultural Safety: The Blanket Exercise

Tuesday, Feb. 9th, 1-4pm

Queen Alexandra Centre for Children's Health

Victoria, BC

This session is designed to enhance and deepen learning about Aboriginal Cultural Safety. The purpose is to engage participants in an experiential learning opportunity to further deepen their understanding and knowing about Canadian historical colonization and how it continues to impact Aboriginal peoples’ health and wellness today. For more information or to register email

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BC Student Leadership Seminar

Wednesday, May 18th, 9am-3pm

Vancouver Island University Nanaimo, BC

Below is a brief description of this year’s program. The main themes for this year’s seminars are combatting Cyberbullying and creating a positive school environment.

This is a two hour presentation/workshop to give students, teachers, administrators & parents the power and tools to combat Bullying and Cyberbullying.

Students need to focus on what matters in their world. Friends matter. Family matters. Grades matter. Decisions matter. Most importantly, they want to feel like they matter.

Andy’s one hour workshop offers student leaders helpful insight on effectively communicating their care for the school to students and staff. This session empowers student leaders with hands-on tools they can immediately use to build a more caring school.

For further information and registration form visit Healthy, Safe and Caring Schools website

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Healthy, Safe and Caring Schools

This Update is intended for information purposes. Inclusion in the Update does not necessarily imply endorsement or recommendation by the District or the Healthy, Safe and Caring Schools Program. It is the readers’ responsibility to determine the suitability of the resource for their specific purposes.

Marnice Jones

Greater Victoria School District

Coordinator Healthy, Safe and Caring Schools

Student Services