Eastern Health Launches Health Information Section on Website

Eastern Health has launched a section on its website to provide individuals, families and communities with more comprehensive and accessible information related to their health and wellness. The Health Information section, known as Hi, is a new online platform designed to provide engaging information about important health topics that cover the lifespan of individuals – from preconception health to healthy aging.

The Hi website contains over 200 health and wellness information topics, along with links to resources and community agencies.

The Hi website was designed with individuals, families and communities in mind. With a fresh look and feel, the Hi website provides better online experiences through credible and up-to-date content, intuitive navigation, robust search tools and improved access across devices. This means people can interact positively with this site whether they use mobile phones, tablets or desktop computers. 

To view the new Health Information website, please visit hi.easternhealth.ca.

A New Initiative – Tools & Resources for An Active Lifestyle

To help Newfoundlanders and Labradorians sit less and move more, the Government of NL and ParticipACTION have partnered up, with the support of Recreation NL, to develop educational resources that encourage and motivate people to be more physically active. Available now is an Older Adult Physical Activity Toolkit, a Teen Toolkit, and the Canadian 24-Hour Movement Guidelines for the Early Years (0-4).

All of the information and resources can be found on Recreation NL’s website at http://www.recreationnl.com/programs-events/fyf/participaction/.

How Does Your Garden Grow?

SUBMITTED BY: Tula Reid, Riverside Elementary

Plant, grow, eat, and share – this is the Little Green Thumbs model that became one of the first classroom discussions when introducing the garden back in November 2016. Riverside Elementary is proud to announce that they have two gardens located in the school. One in Kindergarten and one in the Grade 2/3 split class. The students were intrigued and excited about the idea of a garden. They had many questions and continue to ask questions as the garden grows bigger and bigger. The students wondered what food they would grow, how long would it take to grow, and how would it grow without the sun?

Students took a pledge to plant the seed, to provide the necessary components for the plant to grow, to eat the final product and to share what they have learned with their community. Each student used their thumb print and sealed the pledge in their Little Green Thumbs journals.

The garden is designed to grow plants indoors and it comes equipped with four planters, seeds, soil, fertilizer, a lighting system and pods. Initially, students planted tomato and cucumber seeds, and we saw germination in only six days! It’s safe to say, the sixth day was an exciting one in Kindergarten! However, we did run into trouble. We had a snow day and could not water the seedlings, causing them to dry up. It was a learning curve for many, we realized just how important water is to plants. The Kindergartens were determined to start over, so they planted more seeds and this time they flourished!

We currently have four large planters with tomato, cucumber, basil and lettuce. One of our tomato plants has approximately 50 tomatoes. We are waiting for them to turn red so we can taste them!
Not only is this program fostering responsibility in such young students, but it is also encouraging children to eat foods that they might never taste otherwise. ,Many parents were shocked and surprised that their children tasted the lettuce! They were eating it like rabbits!

In the Spring, Riverside Elementary will host a Harvest Fest where we will invite family and sponsors to join us in celebrating our gardens. On behalf of the students and teachers associated with Little Green Thumbs, we encourage you to begin to ask questions about where your food comes from. Think about ways to start your own garden. You can start small, a head of lettuce and green onion can grow in a glass of water on your window ledge! Plant, Grow, Eat and Share!

It’s the Ability that Counts!

SUBMITTED BY: Lori Hann, Ability Employment Corporation

Ability Employment Corporation (AEC) provides career counselling and job placement services to persons with intellectual developmental disabilities and to those with other barriers to employment, such as mental health issues and youth at risk. AEC is a registered charitable non-profit organization incorporated in 1993 operating from offices in Clarenville and Bonavista.

At AEC, we offer a Learning Centre Program where our clients meet mainly on a weekly basis to learn life, self-help and socialization skills they can transfer to their employment and everyday life. Thanks to the Eastern Regional Wellness Coalition (ERWC), we have been able to create a “Healthy Living Program” that promotes healthy eating and physical activity.

Through the ERWC funds we received, we purchased new cooking equipment to outfit our kitchen area and exercise equipment to offer a drum-fit activity. During our healthy cooking sessions, our clients learn how to choose healthy food options, read recipes, make a list of ingredients, measure ingredients, operate kitchen appliances, prepare and store food safely and use kitchen equipment safely, all while working together as a team!

The drum-fit exercise equipment is a fun filled physical activity that encourages exercise while drumming to the music on an exercise ball. This activity provides all our clients the opportunity to participate regardless their level of ability.

The new “Healthy Living Program” made available by the ERWC funds has added a new dimension to our programs at AEC. While it has started out as a program for our Learning Center, we have incorporated aspects into other programming that is offered at AEC. Since the start of the “Healthy Living Program” we have noticed that attendance at our Learning Center has increased and our clients are showing a genuine interest in healthy living. This program has not only raised awareness of the importance of living well, it is also providing our clients with valuable life and socialization skills that will transfer into all aspects of their lives.

Playing and Learning Together!

SUBMITTED BY: Holly Parsons, Victoria Recreation

Victoria Recreation continues to develop Recreation programs for people of all ages in our small community. We understand the importance of such programs in promoting a healthy and active lifestyle. In the fall of 2014, we started a small WeePlay group for new moms to come and bring their children-newborn to 2 year olds. In our program, babies were given the opportunity to explore and play with other children and it was a social time for the moms. Our group had a consistent number of little ones, but we felt that we were missing a very important age group. We did not service children ages 2-4 year olds and knew this is possibly one of the most crucial ages for social development. We decided that we needed to add to our program and include those kids ages 2-4 years old but knew we needed some help. As an Eastern Wellness Coalition member, we knew they could be the answer!

With the financial support from the Community Grant Program, we were able to make this a reality. We purchased a wide variety of stimulating books, puzzles, blocks, and games. We also now have a play kitchen, play food and shopping cart, a play tool bench, and a globe for the children to learn lots of fun new stuff. We truly believe that because of this funding we are now offering the younger residents of our community and neighboring communities an improved and healthier place for our children to learn and grow together.

Meet a Coalition Member

Submitted by Marjorie Sparkes

ERWC Newsletter [April 2011]:Layout 1.qxdGATHER (Generating Awareness Through Healthy Eating and Recreation) is an initiative of the Random Age Friendly Communities Wellness and Leisure Subcommittee that was funded through the Provincial Wellness Grants Program, Department of Health & Community Services.

GATHER provides a comprehensive wellness program for seniors in Clarenville through opportunity to participate in social, educational and recreational activities.

Space for the program is provided by the Town of Clarenville at the Bill Davis Chalet. This drop-in activity welcomes participants every Tuesday and Thursday afternoon from 1:30 to 4:00 p.m. Initially, a coordinator was employed to implement a program of planned activities.

Physical activities are promoted at each meeting, starting with an exercise regime of stretching exercises and walking. Further opportunity is provided for physical well being through use of the community walking trails, bowling, curling and swimming. An introduction to shallow water aerobics, Tai Chi Chih, martial arts and yoga was enthusiastically embraced by the participants. Regular meetings provide opportunity to learn and further develop new skills such as knitting, crocheting, rug-hooking and quilting. These activities have also provided the additional bonus of service to the community, as Izzy dolls were knit and donated to I-Cross for distribution to children by Canadian troops overseas. Finger puppets, cast socks and pillows were donated to the local hospital. These projects have reinforced feelings of self worth and demonstrated the wide range of capacities and resources older people have to share.

Educational sessions are a routine component of the program and reinforce seniors’ willingness and ability to embrace new ideas and knowledge. Using the, community resources available, sessions have been presented to increase awareness of many topics such as fraud and elder abuse.

Other activities such as board and card games are planned just for the fun of it! Bus tours are another.

Plate Cove Recreation Committee

Submitted by Rhonda O’Driscoll

NL_ERWC_2012_11_05:Layout 1.qxdWe have been offering a recreation program for the past two summers. Floor hockey and volley ball was offered twice a week to two age groups this summer.

With funding from the Wellness Coalition, we were able to buy hockey nets, hockey sticks, and goalie gear for the floor hockey program. Our committee partnered with St.Marks School to offer our
recreation activities. We also offered a summer day camp three mornings a week for kids 10 and under. Respect, fitness, and fun were the main goals of these programs.

As the finale to our summer programs we offered a “Fun in the Sun” event. This included games, face painting, and a barbeque for everyone who participated in our summer program. Funding from the Injury Prevention Coalition allowed us to provided bicycle helmets for 10 youth while promoting the importance of helmet use. This event, despite the rain, was enjoyed by all.

We also organized our second annual Music and Friends Festival. This is the social event of our summer. People of all ages came out for an evening of Newfoundland music by local talent. This weekend ended with a community breakfast that was well attended and many took advantage to socialize with friends and family. I must say our committee put off a fine spread! Our committee is hoping to provide some activities to the adults in our rural area and with the support of the Wellness Coalition, our volunteers, and our community partners we will make this a reality. Partnerships can make anything happen!

Eastern Region Committee Against Violence

Submitted by Tracey Fleming
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Eastern Region Committee Against Violence Inc.(ERCAV) is a non-profit, voluntary committee, made up of individuals from both government and community that meet regularly in the Clarenville- Bonavista area of Newfoundland to discuss issues relating to violence.

ERCAV is dedicated to raising public awareness on the issue of violence and to ensuring that victims of violence receive fair and equal access to much needed support services.

ERCAV is one of 10 regional committees funded by the Provincial Government’s Violence Prevention Initiative, to assist with the coordination of violence prevention activities in the region. Some of ERCAV initiatives throughout the communities are our annual community walks against violence that occurs every September in Clarenville, Bonavista and Arnold’s Cove.

ERCAV has had Micheal P. Gaultois, who is a motivational speaker, visit Random Island Academy and Anthony Paddon Elementary to talk to the students on “Bullying”. We have also had Anne Marie Hagan, who is a motivational speaker, come and speak to the towns of Clarenville and Bonavista on “The Power of Forgiveness”. We have our annual “Purple Ribbon Campaign” in November on “Respect Women”. In the fall ERCAV did up packages of books on diversity and differences and distribute them to our local schools in the region. During February ERCAV will go into the schools throughout the region and host a number of “Stand Up Against Bullying” activities with the students. ERCAV, with a number of other partnerships, had the play “Spancel” performed at the Clarenville Events Centre in July 15 for our seniors in the region. ERCAV believes that we all share responsibility in violence prevention.

Community + Awareness = Change

Trinity Historical Society

Submitted by Daphne Clark
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During the Summer of 2013, the Trinity Historical Society hosted a 7 week summer program for children ages 6 – 15 entitled ‘Take a Hike’. The children decorated their own knapsacks to carry along on hike days with a first aid kit and healthy snacks along with their own re-useable water bottles. Before we began our hikes we invited special guests in – Sarah Morgan came along for the first week and she gave a great presentation to the children regarding composting and recycling. We set up our own compost bin and made a square foot vegetable/fruit garden where the children planted squash, tomatoes, peppers, herbs, watermelon, raspberries and strawberries. Each week, after tending to the garden and compost bin, we hiked various trails around the Trinity Bight area, a first time for many children. The trails included: Gun Hill, Fort Point, Kerley’s Harbour and Skerwink. Along the way we photographed our findings and sights to use in a scrapbook that each child got to design and make themselves which they took home at the end of the summer program. A collection of items such as flowers, rocks, shells, etc. were also collected to use in various art projects that we did over the course of the program as well. Before each hike the children also got to prepare and take along a healthy snack.

Grand Bank Main Street Youth Centre

Submitted by Travis Parsons
The Main Street Youth Centre was established in 1996 when a local businessman (who volunteered as an auxiliary police officer), along with the local sergeant identified a need in the community to have a safe place for young people to hang out. The popularity of this youth centre made national news as it was one of the first such places in Canada.

In 2001, the Main Street Youth Centre was moved to a new location in town and became a member of the Community Youth Network (CYN) of Newfoundland and Labrador.

At the Main Street Youth Centre, we mainly serve youth from ages 12- 18, but also offer programs and activities for youth ages 7-11and 19- 29. Our centre strives to be the hub for all youth engagement in the Grand Bank, Fortune, and Lamaline areas. All CYNs are different. Our CYN has had great success in a few unique areas.

We developed a very detailed ball hockey league in 2006 that allows youth to be drafted to a team in junior high, and remain with this team for all of their high school years. This program is designed to be all inclusive as everything is free. We have seen successes with confidence building, setting and achieving goals, as well as helping some students improve their school attendance.

In November 2010, we established a “Film Group” where youth come together to plan, shoot, edit, and premiere short films. We started out with a short film about military based video games, followed up with a bigger production in the theme of a ‘haunted youth centre’. Based on these successes, we partnered with the local high school in Grand Bank to obtain funding from Eastern Health to develop a 30 minute documentary style dramatization about a local young man who suffered a horrible accident after a night of drinking. This film reached over 4000 views in less than a week. It was filmed with approximately 80% of cast and crew being 18 and under, and helped inspire more young people to get involved with the program.

On the heels of the success of our latest short film, we again obtained funding to create a series of promotional videos to showcase the Grand Bank Summer Festival. The youth involved in our film group worked alongside community volunteers as the CYN was a partner with the Grand Bank Special Events committee for this project. So far it has been a success by how the youth have connected to the adult volunteers who are the backbone of our community.

It is with funding from organizations like Eastern Health and the Wellness Coalition that helps make such programs possible. Without their support, we wouldn’t be able to tell the stories that can make youth think about the risks of drugs and alcohol, or not be able to connect youth and adult volunteers together to create something to improve a sense of community. These valuable opportunities are what make our youth centre a success.

To view any of the Main Street Youth Centre’s film projects visit http://www.youtube.com/user/GrandBankCYN

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