Public Health Communications Specialist
Ministry of Health/Social Development
Parents, school vendors and the community are encouraged to be fully engaged in the Healthy Lifestyle School Intervention Programme to ensure its success.
The programme is being executed in primary schools across the Territory and is an initiative by the Ministries of Education and Culture and Health and Social Development. It is designed to promote healthy eating and active living through nutrition and physical activity in grades two and three students in the Territory’s public schools.
Coordinator for Health Promotion Services and national focal point for Non Communicable Diseases, Ms. Ivy George, said the difference between this intervention and others is that parents, school lunch vendors and the wider community are asked to partner to make the programme a success.
Ms. George said the aim is to have the five behavioral changes of eating breakfast daily, eating fruits and vegetables, reducing daily intake of fats, salts, sugary snacks and drinks and engaging in a variety of physical activities ingrained in the lives of the Territory’s children. She added that this can only be done through a community approach and by building supportive school, home and the community environments.
The ministries will undertake a series of meetings in the coming weeks to sensitise parents and vendors about the programme, and how it can assist them in their goals for better learning, as well as to get their feedback and support.
Ms. George said, “We will be meeting with the parents of grades two and three students beginning on Monday, September 21. Parents can attend a meeting in any location that is most convenient for them. We truly need your support and we encourage parents and school vendors to support these meetings as we seek to improve the health and academic performance of the Territory’s children.”
The meetings for parents of primary school students in grades two and three are as follows:
Monday, September 21 at the East End Community Centre; Wednesday, September 30 at the Valarie O. Thomas Community Centre; Thursday, October 1 at the Sir Rupert Briercliffe Hall; Wednesday October 7 at the Virgin Gorda Community Centre; Thursday, October 8 at the Jost Van Dyke Primary School; Wednesday, October 14 at the Claudia Creque Educational Centre and Monday, October 15 at the Abraham Leonard Community Centre in Carrot Bay.
All meetings on Tortola are scheduled to begin promptly at 5:30 p.m. Times for sister island meetings will be announced at a later date.
A meeting with school vendors will also take place on Monday, September 28 at 5:30 p.m. at Student Services which is located on the second floor of the Ward Building.
The Healthy Lifestyle School Intervention Programme will be integrated within core subjects of math, science, language and physical education and will concentrate primarily on nutrition and physical activity.
The programme, is also designed to include school-wide promotional activities and supportive school, community and home environments, as Government forges towards a healthier Virgin Islands across the lifecycle.