Healthy, Safe and Caring Schools

UPDate May 2016

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Buddy Bench idea for school children. Love this!!!!

New Raffi Song

Singer-songwriter Raffi recently released a new song that can help children and adults deal in a very simple way with the stresses and anxieties of everyday life. “Take A Breath (The Self-Reg Song)” is both tuneful and calming, and provides simple ways, such as breathing slowly in and out, to feel better when feelings are beginning to overwhelm.

Can Mindfulness Help Students Cope with Failure?

A new study suggests that students will be better equipped to bounce back from academic challenges if they possess the skill of mindfulness—the non-judgmental, moment-to-moment awareness of our thoughts, feelings, and sensations.

Which Feels Better, Forgiveness or Revenge?

A new study compares different responses to bullying. Which response-forgiving, avoiding or seeking revenge-might be best for our students? While forgiveness can help us feel better, the researchers conclude, it can also be a stressful process—one reason why choosing to forgive is so difficult.

A Snapshot of BC Youth's Mental Health

The latest report from the McCreary Centre Society highlights a snapshot of BC youth's mental health. The report, Unspoken Thoughts and Hidden Facts highlights the prevalence of mental health challenges faced by youth in BC, and shows that fostering protective factors (including youth engagement and connectedness to school, peers and community) can reduce risk behaviours and negative health outcomes for even the most vulnerable youth.

Curriculum Linked Conversations on Substance Use

Researchers say one of the best ways to help kids navigate the terrain of alcohol and other psychoactive substances is to engage them in honest, open conversations. Encouraging kids to explore, discuss and question their own ideas about drugs can go a long way toward helping them develop important life skills. Click here to read more.

Does School Climate = School Achievment?

A recent study found that positive school climate has a direct link to decreases in teacher turnover and increases in student performance. The lead author of the study, states, “Moving the needle on student achievement at scale is a very difficult thing to do. What we’ve shown is a potential avenue where that sustained investment in school climate is likely to pay off.”

Thinking Healthy Thoughts

Thinking Healthy Thoughts can help children to learn how to think about common stressful situations in a more healthy and balanced way. Parents or educators can work through the activity with the child and encourage them to identify more helpful ways of thinking about stressful situations in the their lives.

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International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia

The International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia was created in 2004 with the purpose of drawing the attention of policymakers, opinion leaders, social movements, the public and the media to the discrimination experienced by GLBTQ/GLBTTIQQ people internationally. If you would like to bring awareness to this day resources can be found at the Healthy, Safe and Caring Schools website.

*The acronym GLBTQ/GLBTTIQQ are umbrella terms inclusive of (but not limited to) people who identify as Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Two-spirit, Intersex, Queer, and Questioning.

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Active and Safe Routes to School Expression of Interest

The CRD has launched the Active & Safe Routes to School Project which offers a coordinated and strategic approach to increasing the use of cycling, walking, rolling and public transit among children, youth and their families. Up to 30 public schools in the region will be selected for the project beginning September 2016. Contact Sarah Webb at 250-360-3240 for a copy of the Expression of Interest due by May 13.

Actively Engaging Women and Girls: Addressing the Psycho-Social Factors

This resource was designed to increase opportunities for women and girls as participants and leaders in the Canadian sport and physical activity system. It will support and guide those working with women and girls, so they engage in, and maintain healthy and active lifestyles. Actively Engaging Women and Girls

Encourage Girls to get Physically Active!

Despite the tremendous strides made in previous years, the report entitled Female Sport: Fostering a Lifetime of Involvement shows, among other things, that 41% of girls aged 3 to 17 don't participate in sport, and this percentage climbs to 84% in the adult women category. The Canadian Olympic Committee is proud to be working with organizations like Fast and Female who share the goal of getting more women and girls engaged in physical activity and sport.

Families Get Fit and Healthy Together

Mind, Exercise, Nutrition ... Do it! (MEND) is a fun free program for families with children ages 7-13 who want to become healthier and more active together. Learn More

Free Tennis Lessons

Society for Kids at Tennis (KATS) is offering free tennis lessons for financially disadvantaged kids. Check here for the spring and summer program schedule.

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Planting a Promise

Planting a Promise was created to enable teachers and their students- especially those already enrolled in the Spuds in Tubs Program-to extend their gardening experience into the fall and to help students explore plants and what they need to grow. Planting a Promise involves a series of activities that take place over several months, starting from September and ending in June.

Local Environmental Knowledge

While you don't need to be an expert in identifying the species where you live, there is an empowering effect of having some local knowledge if you want to immerse your students in learning about nature. Check out these laminated field cards like this or this which are great to take on walks with your students. Or try one of the online guides, such as this new guide and app focused on B.C.'s coastal biodiversity.

Growing Minds Farm to School

This useful website offers spring ready garden guides as well as age appropriate modules for classroom learning.

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

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Creating Habits of Happiness: For Educators

Thursday, May 19th, 7pm to Thursday, June 9th, 9pm

471 Cecelia Road

Victoria, BC

This 4 week workshop is intended to learn habits that will train your brain for greater levels of positivity. You will also gain practical tools for your classroom in: Mindfulness Gratitude Kindness and so much more! For more information or to register contact

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Promoting Mental Health and Fostering Resilience of our Children and Youth

Friday, May 27th, 8am-3:30pm

3800 Finnerty Road

Victoria, BC

On May 27, 2015, over 300 people came together for the first Capital Regional District Healthy Schools Forum! This year’s event represents our continued efforts to foster greater sharing and collaboration, and to enhance the uptake of evidence-aligned, school-centred approaches to promote and support the mental health and resilience of children and youth in our region.

For the registration information package visit the Healthy, Safe and Caring Schools


Promoting Health and Sustainability: The Case of Climate Change and Energy Use - 2016 Public Health Summer School

Monday, July 11th, 9am to Tuesday, July 12th, 4:30pm

This is an online event.

Public Health Association BC Summer School brings together individuals involved in the delivery of public health activities to examine the application of the Ottawa Charter as related to climate change issues and the implications for health and health equity actions at the individual, health care system and community level.

Stakeholders from a variety of fields and backgrounds who are working directly or indirectly on public health issues and health promoting activities across our province are invited to participate. Online registration begins May 1st.

Mental Wellness in BC Schools Summer Institute

Thursday, Aug. 25th, 8am to Friday, Aug. 26th, 4pm

5961 Student Union Boulevard

Vancouver, BC

Save the date for the upcoming Summer Institute. The 7th Annual Summer Institute is a two-day event that will bring together school professionals, parents, youth and school community partners from across BC to exchange knowledge and ideas about improving mental wellness in school communities. Click here to learn more.

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