Enhancing the Active Living Program at St. Bede School

We spoke to Principal Rose Ferreirinha about the impact of getting students out of the classroom.

WHAT: This project was designed to support our Active Living program for students outside of the traditional classroom. Our goal was to enhance student wellness and life-long learning by providing our students the opportunity to experience activities that will encourage them to be physically active.  The three activities that were identified for funding were: inline skating (Gr. 1 and 2), swimming lessons (Gr. 3 and 4) and curling lessons (Gr. 5 and 6).  By participating in these types of activities, students develop life-long skills around exercise, water safety and skating.

WHY: Many of our students do not have the opportunity to participate in these activities as the majority of our students are not enrolled in sports activities at home. More than 25% of our student population comes from immigrant communities or families with high financial needs.  Through the CCEF funding, all students in grades 1-6 were able to participate in activities outside of the traditional classroom environment.

TEACHER FEEDBACK:

  • Students were very active during the presentation. I heard from a few students that they were asking for in-line skates for Christmas. This spring, children have shared that they have gone in-line skating with their families.
  • Students were eager to go to swimming. At least half of the students were in the new to swimming or beginner swimmer levels and showed noticeable growth in the confidence and skill development by the end of the swimming lessons. Not only did this grant give our students the daily physical activity of swimming, but it gave them the increased confidence and skill to be safer when swimming.
  • Many student who don’t experience a lot of success in the classroom, did so in the pool. Just as some students who are skilled in the classroom, were sometimes less so in the pool. It helped all to experience a new level of learning and develop resilience.
  • Many students in our community do not have a chance to do any of the skills that were developed through the grant. For many of the students this was their first time to skate, and the skills of balance, muscular strength and confidence that were developed was amazing. This grant allowed our students to develop not only develop physical skills, but mental skills as well in confidence to try new things.
  • Our student population is made up of a great number of new Canadians and lower income families. These activities are ones that the students would not have been able to afford or would not participate in regularly.

STUDENT FEEDBACK:

  • Our school is great because there are fun activities like inline skating – Grade 2 student
  • Thanks for all the things you do like inline skating – Grade 2 student
  • I love swimming! – Grade 3 student
  • I’ve never been curling before! – Grade 5 student

PARENT FEEDBACK:

  • My son had decided to have his birthday party at Lloyd’s rollerblading rink this year because of his new skill he learned and everyone he invited for his class had a blast. They all had already learned from school and they were able to enjoy themselves together with their new skills.
  • Thank you so much for giving the children an opportunity to try new activities and get them active without parents having to foot a big bill. Greatly appreciated.
  • Aside from what they learned, they took away a really fun experience, and talked about it with excitement beforehand and enthusiasm afterwards.
  • Would love to see more funding put towards these things as simple swimming lessons have made a world of difference for my son. He was excited, learned a lot and is more comfortable around water and being under water.

HOW THE CCEF HELPED: The Calgary Catholic Education Foundation provided $8,000 of funding to St. Bede for their Active Living program. The inline skating, swimming lessons and curling lessons positively impacted over 300 students at the school. These experiences would not have been possible without funding.

Learn more about donating to the CCEF to help fund meaningful projects and school enhancements that positively impact Calgary Catholic students.