ASCD’s Whole Child initiative is a growing movement that supports schools to educate our students in a space that allows them to be healthy, safe, engaged, supported and challenged as they become active citizens in our society. With over 200 schools embracing the initiative, examples of the successes are plentiful and are growing each year! In BC, many schools are embracing the Whole Child approach.
“Each child, in each school, in each of our communities deserves to be healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged. That’s what a whole child approach to learning, teaching, and community engagement really is.”
Each student must be able to enter school healthy and be able to learn about and practice a healthy lifestyle. This includes nutrition, activity and awareness of mental health issues such as anxiety.
Each student must have access to a personalised approach to their learning and have around them, caring, qualified adults.
Each student must be actively engaged in their own learning and be connected to the school and the community.
Each student must be able to learn in an appropriate intellectually challenging environment that is physcially and emotionally safe for students and adults.
I believe that most, if not all, schools in BC are doing the very things that the Whole Child Initiative are calling for. The caring, professional adults in our schools provide not only a challenging courses in academics, Visual and Peforming Arts, PE, and trades, but also a safe environment, where learners can stretch their minds and hearts to become great global citizens. Sometimes, hearing about what other schools are doing reaffirms our own actions or prompts us to move forward to educate the whole child.
On April 30, 2013, members of Byrne Creek Secondary School will be presenting their work around the Whole Child. They will give examples of how they are meeting the needs of each learner through breakfast and lunch programmes, athletics, theatre and arts programmes, and academically challenging courses. If you are interested in attending, please register ($40/person, $200/6 people) at the BCASCD registration site.