Educators | Hastings Prince Edward Public Health

Educators

Healthy Schools

Health and education are linked. Healthy young people are better learners and are more likely to complete their education. Those with a good education are more likely to have better health status.  

We are your partners in health!

Hastings Prince Edward Public Health works in partnership with schools boards and schools to create heatlhy and supportive environments for students, staff, families and community partners.  This work involves:

  • providing services, such as immunizations or oral health screenings, either directly within schools or in our Public Health offices; and
  • offering health promotion information, resources, and programs on topics such as healthy eating, physical activity and tobacco.  

Read through the health topic pages listed above to learn more about how Public Health can support your school or, view our brief School Health Quick Reference Guide .  

The Important Role of Schools

Promoting well-being is one of the core goals of the Ontario Ministry of Educaton's Achieving Excellence vision.  Schools are tasked with developing learning environments that promote and support student well-being - to focus not just on academic success, but also on the whole child so that they may reach their full potential.

By providing quality instruction of the Health & Physical Education curriculum; building school environments that reinforce the health lessons taught in class; and implementing healthy school policies, students will be more likely to adopt healthy behaviours and maintain them throughout their lives.

Together we can create healthy school communities!

 

Learn more about Healthy Schools:

 

Foundations for a Healthy School

This Ministry of Education resource supports schools in integrating healthy school policies, programs and initiatives into school planning.  It provides guidance on five interconnected areas of building a healthy school with sample activities.

 

Ophea Healthy Schools Healthy Communities

Ophea is a not-for-profit organization that provides support to school communities.  Learn more about building a healthy school or visit the teaching tools section to access support for H&PE curriculum instruction.

 

General Resources from Public Health:

 

Related Links:

Healthy Kids Community Challenge

Joint Consortium for School Health

Alcohol and Other Substances

Alcohol and substance misuse education in the school and classroom setting is essential to assist students in gaining and developing the necessary skills and knowledgeto make healthier choices.Classroom teachers have a unique opportunity to positively influence the lifestyle choices of their students through role modelling, knowledge and teaching. Alcohol and substance misuse education in the classroom is best achieved by:

  • Engaging students in exploring real-world situations and issues related to alcohol and substance use.
  • Establishing a learning environment that includes positive role models.
  • Connecting with community partners with topic expertise, to support curriculum linked learning in the classroom.
  • Providing opportunities for students to practise making reasoned decisions.
  • Engaging students in learning through problem-solving.
  • Assisting students in making cross curricular connections between personal choices related to substance use or misuse and potential outcomes.

 

Illicit Fentanyl in Our Community

The presence of illicit (non-prescription) fentanyl and other illicit drugs containing fentanyl have been identified within Hastings and Prince Edward Counties and surrounding regions.  Fentanyl can be fatal even in small amounts.  

Curiosity and risk taking are a normal part of the teen and young adult years.  The teenage brain continues to develop throughout the early part of adulthood – especially the areas in charge of impulse control.  A student may find themselves in a risky situation where alcohol and drugs may be available. 

Talk to students about the risks of drug use and overdose.  Fact sheets are available to help lead classroom discussions, to share with parents, and for students themselves.

Help reduce the risk of overdose – educate students about the drug; the signs of an overdose; and what to do if someone is in trouble.   Get a Lifesaver kit.

Tobacco Information and Youth Engagement for Educators

 

Background Information

Youth and Alcohol

Ontario Student Drug Use and Health Survey

 

Curriculum Support

OPHEA’s Health and Physical Education Curriculum Resources

Parent Action on Drugs: Peer Education and Youth Engagement Programs

 

Home - School Connections

Strategies for Parents To Prevent Underage Drinking

 

Related Links

Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse

Centre for Addiction and Mental Health

MADD Canada

Health Canada

 

Environmental Health

 

Asthma

Asthma is the most common chronic health condition among children in Ontario. Encourage all school staff and volunteers to learn about asthma and create an asthma-friendly school environment where children are supported to manage their asthma.

Ophea's Asthma Education Initiative includes free resources about asthma management in schools.  Supports include:

The Clean Air Checklist is a tool for classroom teachers to use to improve the air quality in their classroom.

The Ontario Lung Association provides information about asthma and asthma management, free resources, and links to community programs.

 

Food Safety

Secondary school students who are working in the food industry are welcome to participate in Hastings Prince Edward Public Health’s Food Handler Training Program.

Healthy Eating

A healthy school nutrition environment exists when schools promote healthy eating through both words and actions. Delivering and modeling consistent messages about nutrition and the food environment ensures that students get the same information about healthy eating whether they are selling items to raise funds, purchasing a snack in the school, or learning in the classroom.

 

Background Information

Canada's Food Guide

Promoting Positive Body Image

Educators play a role in providing consistent messages to promote positive body image. Words and actions related to body shape and size that are thought to be helpful may have unintended effects. When children and youth feel good about themselves and their bodies, they are more likely to adopt healthy behaviours like eating well and being active.

Resources and Supports:

 

Policy Support

P/PM 150 School Food and Beverage Policy

The Ministry of Education issued the School Food and Beverage Policy in 2011. Supporting Tools:

 

Healthy School Environment

  • Foundations for a Healthy School - A resource for healthy school planning from the Ministry of Education, with sample strategies and activities related to healthy eating.
  • Guide to School Gardens – Information to create and sustain a school garden, including curriculum connections and resources.

 

Healthy Fundraising

  • Fresh from the Farm – Now available in Hastings and Prince Edward counties, this program offers a healthy alternative to traditional fundraising. Students can sell Ontario-grown produce to raise funds while promoting healthy eating habits.
  • Bake it Up! – Give your next bake sale a healthy makeover with tasty recipes that comply with the PPM150 Sell Most criteria.

 

Curriculum Support

  • Bright Bites – Resources and activities to help schools transform their food and nutrition environment – one bite at a time. School teams can earn badges and compete with other Ontario schools in the Hall of Fame.
  • Teach Nutrition – Created by Registered Dietitians for Ontario teachers and sponsored by the Dairy Farmers of Canada, this website offers information, programs, and resources on various food and nutrition topics for elementary and secondary educators.
  • Ophea Teaching Tools – Access lesson plans, supplements, and activities to teacher healthy, active living in compliance with the Ontario Health and Physical Education curriculum.
  • Eat Well and Be Active Educational Toolkit – A poster, activity plans, and images to facilitate teaching about healthy eating and physical activity.
  • My Food Guide – An interactive tool that allows students to select their favourite types of food from each food group to create a personalized, printable Food Guide.
  • Healthy Kids Quest – A series of free, downloadable modules on healthy eating and physical activity designed for grade 1-3 classes across Canada.

 

Student Nutrition Supports

Addressing Hungry Students
When teaching about nutrition, it is important to recognize that students may not have access to healthy food or control over the food choices available to them. While it is important to encourage students to bring healthy lunches and snacks to school, they should not feel penalized or stigmatized if they are unable to do so.

Resources and Supports:

  • Food Access Guide – Information on free and low cost food and meal programs in Hastings and Prince Edward Counties including emergency food services, food box programs, and community gardens.
  • Food For Learning – The lead agency for Student Nutrition Programs, providing financial and organizational support for schools offering meals and/or snack programs for students.

 

Home/School Connections

 

General Nutrition Support

  • Eat Right Ontario – This free service allows Ontario residents to contact a Registered Dietitian with nutrition questions. Call toll-free at 1-877-510-5102 or visit the ERO website.
  • Healthy Life Line - To speak to a dietitian from Hastings Prince Edward Public Health about your school's nutrition environment, call the Healthy Life Line at 613-966-5500, ext. 610 or 1-800-267-2803, ext. 610. TTY: 711 or 1-800-267-6511.

 

What You Need to Know about the ISPA

The Immunization of School Pupils Act requires Ontario students attending school to have up-to-date immunizations. Being fully immunized protects students against diseases that can be dangerous and easily spread to others. Specifically, the Immunization of School Pupils Act (ISPA) requires students to be vaccinated against:

• Diphtheria

• Tetanus

• Polio

• Measles

• Mumps

• Rubella

• Pertussis (whooping cough)

• Varicella (chickenpox)

• Meningococcal disease

**Please note that under the ISPA, students can be suspended from school if their immunization records are not up-to-date with Public Health.

What if I decide not to immunize my child?

Statement of Medical Exemption or a Statement of Conscience or Religious Belief Affidavit for Child Care Centres or a  Statement of Conscience or Religious Belief Affidavit for JK- grade 12 must be submitted to Public Health if you decide not to immunize your child. A cover letter is also requested to accompany the exemption/affidavit. All Affidavats must be signed in the presense of a Notarary Public or a Commisioner of Oaths prior to bringing the originals to a Hastings Prince Edward Public Health office to keep on file.

How do You Update Immunization Records?

Immunization records and updates are not automatically provided by health care providers. When children receive their immunization(s), it is the parents responsibility to call Hastings Prince Edward Public Health at (613) 966-5500 or 1-800-267-2803, ext. 221 to update their children’s immunization records in our database. You can also take a photo or scan your child's immunization record and email it along with your child's name, date of birth and health card number to cdcimm@hpeph.ca or fax records to 613-966-8145.

What is done by Hastings Prince Edward Public Health?

We review immunization records annually for all students attending school in our area.

  • In late fall, we send a questionnaire home to parents of students who do not have up-to-date immunizations.
  • If no information or inadequate information is provided by February, we will send out a Reminder/Questionnaire to Overdue students indicating the date the student will be suspended from school if the information is not provided.
  • If by the suspension date the student is still not up to date, Hastings Prince Edward Public Health will provide each principal with a list of student names who have a Suspension Order.  The student will not be allowed to enter school until the order has been complied with.

How do I get more Information?

Please call our Vaccine Preventable Disease Intake line at (613) 966-5513 or 1-800-267-2803, ext. 313.

TTY: Dial 711 + (613) 966-5500 + GA (Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.)

Related Links:

Immunization of School Pupils Act (ISPA)

Personal Health Information Protection Act

School Immunization History Form

2016/2017 School Vaccine Schedule for Elementary & Secondary Students

School Immunizations

Our Vaccine Preventable Disease nurses provide school immunizations for students in certain grades.

Nurses deliver consent forms to each school in early September and are available to answer questions from teachers and students.

Our nurses go to each school throughout the school year to immunize for all doses of the vaccines.    

Grade 7 male & female students  are eligible for the publicly funded Hepatitis B vaccine (2 doses), meningococcal vaccine A,C,Y,W-135 (one dose) and HPV (2 doses).

Starting in September 2016, all grade 7 students will be able to receive the cancer preventing Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine Gardasil® free of charge.

Female students entering grades 8 in 2016-17 school year will also be offered the vaccine (2 doses) through school-based clinics. Female students in grades 9 to 12 are eligible for the publicly funded HPV vaccine (Gardasil) but require 3 doses.

Hepatitis B Vaccine

  • Hepatitis B vaccine prevents liver disease caused by hepatitis B virus.
  • It is given as a series of two injections approximately six months apart.
  • Students who did not receive the first or second Hepatitis B dose while in grade 7 remain eligible until the end of grade 8. Once the student has entered grade 9 it is no longer publicly funded.

Meningococcal Vaccine

  • Meningococcal vaccine (Menactra®) protects against four strains of meningococcal disease A, C, Y, W135.
  • Only one dose is needed.
  • Since 2009, students who were eligible in grade 7 and have not yet received the vaccine remain eligible for a single dose. 
  • This is an ISPA mandatory vaccine. 

HPV Vaccine

  • Starting September 2016, All Grade 7 students (male & female) and  grade 8 female students are eligible to receive  HPV vaccine (Gardasil®). It is given as a series of two injections six months apart.
  • Female students who have not completed their HPV series or who did not receive the HPV vaccine in grade 8, may receive the vaccine for free until the end of grade 12. It is a three dose series given at 0, 2 and 6 month.
  • The human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine provides protection against four types of HPV, two of which are responsible for 70% of cervical cancers.

Immunization for Teens

A booster for Tetanus, Diphtheria and Pertussis is needed ten years after the preschool booster, usually between the ages of 14 and 16 years. The recommended vaccine is called Adacel®.  This vaccine is publicly funded. Click here for more information about the vaccine.

Hastings Prince Edward Public Health do not offer high school Adacel vaccination clinics in school at the present time.  Please visit  your closest Hastings Prince Edward Public Health Routine clinic or your Health Care Provider to get immunized.

Related Links:

Hepatitis B Vaccine Fact Sheet/Consent Form

HPV Vaccine Fact Sheet/Consent Form

Meningococcal Vaccine Fact Sheet/Consent Form

Infection Control

Childcare Centres & Schools

Children in child care centres and schools are more prone to infection.  A higher number of respiratory and enteric illnesses occur in these settings. To help prevent the spread of communicable diseases in child care centres and schools:

1. Have your children immunized.
2. Keep ill children home until they are well enough to participate in all activities.
3. Teach children good personal hygiene, including handwashing, not sharing personal items, and coughing or sneezing into a tissue or their elbow.

Related Links:

Hastings Prince Edward Public Health offers a number of Infection control resources that can be used in the classroom. These resources can be obtained by calling the Communicable Disease Intake Line at (613) 966-5500 or 1-800-267-2803, ext. 349.

TTY: Dial 711 + (613) 966-5500 + GA (Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.)

Infection Control Information

Related Links:

Hand Washing

Microbe World

Help Students Learn About Preventing the Spread of Germs

The Scrub Club

Teacher Resources:

Clean Hands Kit

Glow Germ Kit – A useful interactive resource that assists in educating about the importance of hand washing and the appropriate technique.

Why Don’t We Do It In Our Sleeves?  – A five-minute video (DVD) on the importance of cough and sneeze etiquette.

This kit and DVD can be borrowed from Hastings Prince Edward Public Health by calling the Communicable Disease Intake Line at (613) 966-5500 or 1-800-267-2803, ext. 349.

TTY: dial 711 + (613) 966-5500 + GA (Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.)

Cover your Cough Poster

How to Hand Wash Poster

How to Hand Sanitize Poster

Hand Hygiene Poster-Child

Hand Hygiene Poster-Youth

Hand Hygiene Poster-Adult

Simple Steps to Germ Free Living Poster

Tattoos, Piercings, Aesthetic Services

Concussion

A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury. Any blow to the head, face, neck or body that causes the head to move rapidly may cause a concussion. Children and adolescents are among those at greatest risk for concussin, especially during recess on the playground, physical education classes or sports at school. Research shows that a concussion can have a significant impact on a child's development - congnitively, physically, emotionally and socially.

To help ensure the safety and well-being of students and subsequently support effective learning, all publicly-funded school boards in Ontario are required to have a policy on concussion. The purpose of the policy is to support school staff, students and their families with information on how to minimize the risk of concussion, steps to follow if a concussion is suspected, and management procedures to guide students' return to learning and physical activity for a diagnosed concussion.

To learn more about concussions and school board policies within Hastings and Prince Edward counties, visit these websites:

Algonquin & Lakeshore Catholic District School Board Concussion Policy

Hastings & Prince Edward District School Board Concussion Management

Ontario Government - Concussions

Parachute - Concussions

Oral Health

Hastings Prince Edward Public Health offers preventive dental services to children aged 0 to 17 who do not have any form of dental insurance and cannot afford dental care.  For more information, click here.

Oral Health School Screening

Oral Health program staff visit all provincially funded elementary schools in Hastings and Prince Edward Counties each school year and screen students in certain grades. These screenings do not substitute a child's regular visit to the dentist.  For more information, download the Teacher Information Sheet.

You can also call our Oral Health program at (613) 966-5500 or 1-800-267-2803, ext. 680.

TTY: Dial 711 + (613) 966-5500 + GA (Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.)

Secondary School Oral Health Information

Hastings Prince Edward Public Health has programs available to provide financial assistance to teenagers 17 years of age and under who do not have any form of dental insurance. To learn more about these programs click here.

 Your All-Access Pass to a Healthy Mouth Healthy You is a resource designed specifically for the teenaged population. It contains information about oral health as it relates to: Smoking, drug use, braces, oral piercings, eating disorders, gingivitis, periodontal disease, mouth guards, and mouth care.

Physical Activity

Celebrate Canada's 150th Birthday by Challenging Students to Walk Across Canada!

Looking for a fun way for your school to celebrate Canada's 150th birthday?

The Walk Across Canada Challenge offers a unique opportunity to incorporate physical activity into the school day. It can be used to motivate the whole school, or smaller groups within the school, to be active. The challenge also offers flexibility in how participants "walk across Canada", based on your school's resources and capacity and how long the challenge will run.

To learn more about the challenge and its supporting resources, please see the Walk Across Canada Guidebook.

Canadian 24-Hour Movement Guidelines:

In 2016, the Canadian Society of Exercise Physiology released the new 24-Hour Movement Guidelines for Children and Youth Aged 5-17.

These evidence-based guidelines are unique in that they demonstrate the relationship between physical activity, sedentary behaviour and sleep within a 24-hour period.

Children and youth who move more, sleep better and children who sleep better have more energy to be active. These guidelines also highlight the contribution of light physical activity to overall daily movement, which supports the idea that physical actibvity does not alwasy need to be organized o structured.

 

Physical Activity Leaders in Schools (P.A.L.S.)

P.A.L.S. is a peer leadership training and implementation program that encourages youth engagement to create physical activity opportunities in schools. Through P.A.L.S. training, older students, with the support of school staff, will develop and implement structured physcial activity opportunities for younger students and/or the entire school community. Tap into the energy of your students today.

P.A.L.S. Teacher Handbook

P.A.L.S. Student Handbook

P.A.L.S. Training Outline

P.A.L.S. Certificate

Health and Physical Education Curriculum Support

Daily Physical Activity (DPA) is a mandatory component of daily instruction for students in grades 1 to 8 in Ontario and is included as an expectation in the 2015 Health and Physical Education Curriculum. This learning expectation requires students to actively engage in sustained moderate to vigorous physical activity, including appropriate warm-up and cool-down activities, to the best of their ability for a minimum of twenty minutes every day.

The goal of DPA is to provide all elementary students with an opportunity to be active on a daily basis and to encourage positive attitudes toward physical activity. Studies show that students who participate in physical activity each day exhibit improved memory and concentration, as well as communication, problem-solving, and leadership abilities, which lead to improved learning in other subject areas.

The implementation of DPA can be made easier with a little planning. Try a few of these easy small space ideas to incorporate DPA into your classroom: Favourite Small Space DPA Activities

Related Links:

Ministry of Education DPA Support for Teachers

Ophea DPA Resources

Physical & Health Education Canada Curriculum Support

Physical Literacy

The health of our children is shaped by the environment in which they grow up. The places where children learn and play influence whether or not they grow up to be active healthy adults. When children do not have access to an environment that helps them to be active and eat well, their health and quality of life is undermined. Research demonstrates the importance of physical activity and healthy eating for healthy growth and development. Providing children with a healthy nutrition environment and opportunities to develop physical literacy are crucial to establishing confidence and skills that will support healthy behaviours throughout their lives.

Physical Literacy Parent Night Toolkit

Find all the tools you need below, in English and French, to host your own physical literacy parent night at your school.

English:

Talking Points

Parent Letter

Parent Handout

French:

Talking Points

Parent Letter

Parent Handout

 

School Newsletter Inserts

Looking for a way to provide credible health information to parents?  Why not include our downloadable newsletter inserts?  Simply drop them into your school newsletter.  Watch for new topics to be added monthly.

June 2016

May 2016

April 2016

March 2016

February 2016

January 2016

December 2015

November 2015

October 2015

September 2015

 

Sexual Health

Knowledge is power for children and young adults. In this time of information overload, it is imperative that the correct information is delivered. Children have a difficult time determining reliable information sources from unreliable ones.

Youth need to know what the societal rules are regarding such things as obtaining consent for sexual activity or the proper location for masturbation. This is especially true for youth with developmental challenges. Otherwise, some youth will find themselves dealing with legal issues because they were never taught what expected behaviour is.

As educators, you are tasked with the responsibility of providing this education as indicated in the Ontario Health and Physical Education Curriculum, 2015. You are not alone, for those in Public Health are mandated to support and provide consultation to make providing sexuality education easier and maybe even enjoyable.

Puberty Education and Reproduction

According to Deborah M. Roffman in her book, Sex & Sensibility, the Thinking Parent’s Guide to Talking Sense about Sex, between the ages of four to six years, most children acquire predictable new mental concepts including the following:

  • “The principle of beginning and endings:  Where did I come from?” (~age 4)
  • “The concept of before, now and later:  How did I get out of there?” (~age 5)
  • “The concept of causation:  How did I get in there in the first place?” (~age 6)

Gender issues, combined with peer culture, make pre-adolescence and adolescence very stressful.  Knowledge of one’s body, the changes and significance of puberty can be extremely reassuring for youth to feel normal.  Helping them understand some of the emotional and relationship changes is also important.

The growth and development curriculum expectations build on each other year to year, laying the groundwork for an essential understanding of conception, contraception, and sexually transmitted infections.

Watch for students that are struggling with the topic. These students may have had experiences with which they need extra assistance. Take care not to misinterpret the student who is just very curious or shy.

Related Links:

Always Changing Co-Ed: Student Guides

Changes in Me: A Resource on Puberty and Adolescent Development

Puberty

Support for Teachers

Public Health staff are committed to supporting teachers in their role as sexual health educators.  It is imperative in today’s world that all children have an opportunity to prepare themselves for decisions which they may face.

Upon request, we can offer:

  • Recommendations of online sites that provide teaching plans, work sheets, and smart board activities.
  • Consultations to prepare teachers to provide the material with Public Health Staff and eventually independently
  • Accurate information on sexual health topics, such as contraception and sexually transmitted infections.
  • Support to answer difficult student questions.
  • Access to written resources or ordering information
  • Classroom presentations on the topics of puberty/reproduction, pregnancy prevention/contraception, and sexually transmitted infections.

Call us at (613)966-5513 or 1-800-267-2803, ext. 298 to organize the type of support that you need. 

TTY: Dial 711 + (613) 966-5500 + GA (Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.)

Sexually Transmitted Infections

Hastings Prince Edward Public Health strives to support educators with delivering the Ministry of Education curriculum related to growth and development. The current curriculum recommends that education about sexually transmitted infections (STIs) takes place in grades 7 though 12. 

Related Links:

Classroom Presentations

Teaching Sexual Health

Chlamydia Fact Sheet

Gonorrhea Fact Sheet

Hepatitis A Fact Sheet

Hepatitis C Fact Sheet

HIV/AIDS Fact Sheet

Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Fact Sheet

Syphilis Fact Sheet

Sexual Health Clinical Services

Hastings Prince Edward Public Health offers sexual health clinical services at the following Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board secondary schools

  • Bayside Secondary School (Wednesday mornings)
  • Centre Hastings Secondary School (1st, 3rd, 4th & 5th Wednesday mornings)
  • Moira Secondary School (Thursday mornings)
  • Prince Edward Collegiate Institute (Wednesday mornings)
  • Trenton High School (Friday mornings)

Students have the choice of attending a school clinic or a Sexual Health Clinic held at one of our Public Health offices. The goal of providing services at school is to decrease the amount of time students are out of class.

Sexual Health Clinic Tours

The purpose of the Sexual Health Clinic Tour is to increase awareness of the clinical services available to youth and to increase their level of comfort in accessing these services. The tour allows them to walk through the doors of the local Public Health office and be shown the basic steps they would need to take if they needed to access services.

Clinic tours can be booked for any grade 9 physical education class or any class, agency, or group that could benefit from the information.

To book a tour, call (613) 966-5500 or 1-800-267-2803, ext. 246 or ext. 298. For Bancroft, call (613) 332-4555 on Tuesdays or Thursdays.

Tobacco

Smoke-Free Ontario Act

Hastings Prince Edward Public Health is mandated to enforce the Smoke-Free Ontario Act, 1994, within its jurisdiction. Click here to learn how the Act affects schools.

If you have a question about the Act or would like to forward information regarding an offence under the Act, you can email us or call our Tobacco Talk Line at (613) 966-5500 or 1-800-267-2803, ext. 600.

TTY: Dial 711 + (613) 966-5500 + GA (Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.)

School Resources:

Dr. Crazy Video #1

Dr. Crazy Video #2

Dr. Crazy Video #3

Lungs Are For Life

Play, Live, Be Tobacco-Free

Quit4Life

Youth Engagement

What is youth engagement?

Youth engagement is about young people being actively involved in addressing issues that affect them personally and/or that they believe are important. In the process of engaging youth, their voices and leadership are seen as valuable to creating change and taking action. Meaningful youth engagement has potential benefits to both the youth as well as the community in which they live.

Benefits of youth engagement in health promotion:

  • Getting the youth involved in community work and volunteering
  • Hanging out with friends
  • Learning new skills
  • Getting youth and adults excited
  • Building developmental assets
  • Developing relationships with other students
  • Adults developing relationships with students
  • School connectedness

How does Hastings Prince Edward Public Health engage youth?

Our Youth Engagement Coordinator works in partnership with youth, schools, and organizations working with youth and Take A Stand, the East Regional Youth Engagement Coalition to improve the health and well-being of youth who live, work, study, and play in Hastings and Prince Edward Counties.

We provide opportunities and support for youth interested in raising awareness, educating and advocating in their schools and broader community around issues such as smoking, alcohol and substance use and mental health.

VIBE

VIBE is our youth ambassador program in which youth volunteers are actively involved in promoting, advocating, and educating other youth about health issues they find important. Youth ambassadors work within their schools and communities with other volunteers to create positive health changes. VIBE focuses on health issues, such as, tobacco use, as well as other health risks. VIBE volunteers meet regularly to design, plan, and implement campaigns and initiatives.  

Click here for more information about VIBE.

Youth Community Grants

Hastings Prince Edward Public Health provides school or community groups with grant money for groups who wish to run activities in support of one of the youth-led campaigns that we endorse.:

Love My Life (LML) aims to increase tobacco-free environments in support of healthy living for the mind, body, and spirit of youth.

Freeze the Industry (FTI) is a youth-led campaign that raises awareness about ways the tobacco industry makes their products appealing to young people.

We are looking for applications in which youth are key players in the development and execution of an initiative, as well as sustainability of the initiative after the grant funds are spent. 

Criteria:

The grant activities will:

  • Involve youth aged 10 to 24 years.
  • Be youth-initiated, planned, and coordinated.
  • Implement at least one project/initiative promoting youth health.
  • Be inclusive of diverse cultures, and include both youth who are substance-free and substance users (including alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs).

For more information about Youth Community Grants or for an application, e-mail our Youth Engagement Coordinator.

Sun Safety & UV 

Skin cancer is the most common cancer in Canada and is highly preventable. Childhood exposure to UV Radiation (UVR) is an important contributor to the development of skin cancer in later life.

Schools play a major role in minimizing student exposure to UVR (highest risk is between 11 am and 3 pm) and in both establishing and maintaining sun safety habits for a lifetime.

An effective sun safety school culture provides the opportunity for staff and students to enjoy the many benefits of outdoor play and physical activity while offering protection from UVR. This is done by establishing effective routines, enhancing shade on school grounds and developing and implementing a sun safety policy.

Develop a Sun Protection Policy

Sun Safety Policy Guidelines for schools is a best-practice guide to developing a sun safe school culture. It offers a step-by-step policy process and examples of exciting sun safety school and community programs. 

Create a Sun Safe School Environment

SunSense Program (grades 1-6)

The SunSense program supports elementary school communities in creating a sun safety environment through education, policy development and awareness of sun safe practices. The program includes a policy development guide, as well as supporting tools and resources, such as curriculum resources, communication tools and FREE materials for download or order (UV bead bracelets and luggage tags). The program is a joint project of Canadian Cancer Society, Ophea and Evergreen.

Other Sources of UV Radiation

Tanning beds are another significant source of UVR. Young people are at particular risk: using a tanning bed before the age of 35 increases the risk of developing melanoma (the deadliest form of skin cancer) by 59 percent. In Ontario it is illegal for persons less than 18 years of age to use a tanning bed. More information can be found on this website, on the Cancer Prevention page found under the “Healthy Living” tab.