Routhier Wellness Week promotes healthy lifestyle

Wellness coach Rachel Dubrule, putting the Routhier kids through some dance moves, during “Just Dance” activities during wellness week.

Tom Henihan
Express Staff
The High Prairie School Division holds a wellness week at different schools within the division at different times.

Last week, from January 16 to 20, Routhier celebrated the week with a wide variety of activities that motivate and create awareness in kids about the value of pursuing a healthy lifestyle in all facets across the spectrum: physical exercise, emotional and mental wellbeing, good nutrition and a considerate, safe school environment.

While each school might have slightly different creative, fun ways to celebrate the week, the primary objective is to make the kids mindful of an holistic approach to good health, recognizing that good physical health is a vital factor in having of good emotional and mental wellbeing also.

Throughout the week Routhier students were given the hallway challenge: Walk like a Giant, Hop like a Bunny, Quiet as a Mouse.

Rachel Dubrule, a fulltime wellness coach with the High Prairie School Division who works at Vanier and Routhier coordinates the Wellness Week events.

“For this wellness week I’m doing the ‘just dance,’ and I have created a game where we implement food groups, The food groups game is an active game where the kids will learn about different food groups and how to make a healthy plate,” says Dubrule.
“Another activity we are doing is WITS, which teaches students how to combat bullying.”

The WITS Program was established at the University of Victoria to offer violence prevention programs to children and youth.

However, it was Judi Stevenson, an Esquimalt elementary school principal, who coined the WITS acronym in 1993, using four basic conflict resolution strategies: Walk away, Ignore, Talk it out and Seek help.

The administration, councillors and teachers at the Esquimalt school quickly implemented the four steps, with the phrase “Using your WITS” quickly gaining usage.

Other activities in the week are the teachers pedometer challenge, daily wellness announcements, healthy food and activity hunt, just dance, tic-tac-toe game and kindness book reading and talk.

“Every school in the High Prairie School Division where we do these activities focuses on health for their wellness week,” says Dubrule. “And then on the Friday all the wellness coaches from across the division meet at that school, so Friday is going to be our wellness day.”

When all team members are present at a school for the conclusion of wellness week they join the regular scheduled Phys Ed classes to participate in physical activities to encourage students to stay active.

Following a staff potluck lunch, a community sport challenge takes place in the afternoon.

As a wellness week finale, the winner of the staff pedometer challenge is announced.

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