Drop the Pop grants for Manitoba schools
On November 25, 2014, The Kidney Foundation of Canada – Manitoba Branch announces that it has chosen four elementary schools from across Manitoba to receive its inaugural $250 grant that will help the schools carry out a Drop the Pop Challenge for their students.
Elementary schools with a significant Aboriginal student population were invited to apply for this grant. It is the Foundation’s first time providing this grant. Nineteen schools from across the province applied. The successful schools are as follows:
DR Hamilton School in Cross Lake First Nation
Langruth Elementary School in Langruth
Mulvey School in Winnipeg
Peter Yassie Memorial School in Tadoule Lake, northern Manitoba
“We are thrilled that principals and teachers from across Manitoba are going to help spread the word to children that it’s important to take care of your kidneys. One way of doing this is to cut back on sugar,” explains Val Dunphy, executive director of The Kidney Foundation of Canada – Manitoba Branch. “As November is National Diabetes Awareness Month, we think it is a perfect time to get students thinking about nutrition and the connection between diabetes and kidney health.”
During a Drop the Pop Challenge, school and community staff commit to help educate children about the dangers of sugary drinks. Teachers take on the role of challengers, asking students to “drop the pop” and all sugary drinks for one week while they teach their students about making healthy lifestyle choices. Successful applicants will receive health promotion tools, the $250 grant, and Drop the Pop curriculum with lesson plans and handouts.
Schools were selected based on providing concrete plans on how they would promote health to their students, as follows:
The DR Hamilton School plans to have students sign onto the Drop the Pop Challenge. They’ll do the challenge again in Spring 2015 to measure improvements. Younger students will do a poster contest while middle year students may make short videos about kidney disease, amputations, etc. The school will use their grant to purchase bags of vegetables for contest winners to take home or to give to a community Elder of their choice. They’ll also explore using Aboriginal foods and ways that they can make them healthier, such as using whole wheat flour in bannock and cooking moose meat in a healthier way (rather than frying).
The Langruth Elementary School is already a “pop-free zone.” It plans to use a graphic novel about the dangers of diabetes in Aboriginal communities with its students. They will have discussions, do research, lessons, and develop an awareness campaign. They will use the grant to help provide healthy snacks to the children who take part in an annual two-day ski trip.
Mulvey School in downtown Winnipeg will have “older” students meet with staff to design menus, create posters, and research and write nutrition education announcements that they will announce over the school’s PA system. Their challenge will encourage students to be instructional leaders for each other. They’ll use their grant to buy food items that were taken from the student-developed menus. Some funds will be used to purchase art supplies to advertise and promote the challenge around the school and the community.
The Peter Yassie Memorial School is Manitoba’s most northern/remote school. The school will encourage traditional cultural knowledge by inviting Elders to provide sharing/learning circles to the students. Students will learn about gathering and using traditional berries and teas instead of drinking pop and energy drinks. The teachers will use funding to help provide healthy snacks to their students, in an area where 4 litres of milk costs $14.99.
This grant is made possible with generous funding from CN Rail. The Drop the Pop Challenge is a part of the Foundation’s curriculum for Aboriginal schools called Our Children, Their Health, Our Future.