Day 114/115 – Renfrew County


The last couple of days have been full of energetic students who are loving this warm weather!  Yesterday I drove to Deep River to visit with students at T.W Morison School.  The connections were interesting… Anne is a mother whose kids attend the school and found out about our project through my friend Sarah who worked at Wanakita with me a couple of years ago.  And our partner organization is KidActive which is run by Shawna, who also has kids at Morison!  I came back to the school in the evening and had a good chat with some parents and the principal of the school, Ivan.  There were some good ideas generated throughout the hour and a half that we spent talking and there was a sense that these parents were real role models, not only with their own kids, but with surrounding families as well.  At the end of the day, I enjoyed a nice walk along a country road that reminded me of home in Haliburton before settling into a good sleep at Shawna’s house.  Thanks to her family for inviting me in… we had some great Indian food for dinner!  And thanks to Carol with the Parent Council for helping to set up the day!

Today, I was at Lady of Sorrow and Pinecrest in the morning, speaking with K-8 students.  Again, there were some great responses to some of the questions they were asked.  I was joined today by Brian Brohart, who works for the Renfrew County Health Unit. He went to Queen’s University for phys ed and as “small world” philosophies still hold to be true, he came to Wanakita in 2003 when I was working there.  I had the chance to join him and other staff for an outdoor walk to acknowledge Canada Health Day today, which was fun.  He even made me run a bit!  It was good to chat with him and find out about some of the initiatives happening in the area.  But the conversation turned to the fact that students in this rural area were pretty healthy.  And to be honest, as we’ve made our way across the country, most of the students we’re seeing appear quite healthy, which is great!  So the message of obesity due to screen time can sometimes lead to some question marks, but laying the groundwork for active and healthy lifestyles is crucial as we all get older and spend more and more time in front of screens.

I feel fortunate to be meeting such incredible people on this journey.  After each assembly, there are a handful of students who come up to me to ask some questions that they didn’t get to ask during it.  Those few minutes I get to interact with students one-on-one are some of my favourite moments.  I always wish there was more time to really dive into their heads and explore their thoughts on life, inside and out! This afternoon, I was at Highview School in Pembroke speaking with grades 4-8.  If anyone doubts the energy, resiliency, passion and knowledge of today’s generation, they should join us in the schools we’re visiting.  The students are AMAZING!

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