City of St. John’s, Recreation Division: Seniors Outreach Programming (Physical Activity; Mental Health Promotion)
Seniors Outreach Programming is building on a successful initiative from Summer 2020, where, in response to limited recreational activities and struggles with social isolation among seniors due to Covid-19 pandemic, City staff provided outdoor recreational activities to seniors living in seniors’ complexes at various locations across the city. This program was well-received by participants. However, with the colder weather it is not possible to continue as an outdoor program into the fall and winter. This new project will continue to involve seniors by bringing them to larger community and City facilities to safely engage in in-door recreation, leisure, and social activities. One of the main barriers to participating is transportation to the facilities. Funding from the grant will assist with this. The City is partnering with NL Housing.
Hazelwood Elementary: Mindfulness Reading Corner (Health and Literacy; Mental Health Promotion; Child and Youth Development)
The purpose of this project is to use literacy to help children develop emotional resilience. The goal is to have a reading room dedicated to mindfulness, emotional regulation, and awareness. Activities include read-aloud sessions, mindfulness activities, discussions, and bulletin board display. The school is partnering with the Kilbride to Ferryland Family Resource Coalition who will participate in guest read-aloud sessions. Grant funds will purchase relevant books and book slings.
Kilbride to Ferryland Family Resource Coalition: Pre/Post Natal Mind and Body Wellness group (Mental Health Promotion, Physical Activity, Healthy Eating)
The goal of this project is to promote healthy lifestyle choices, physical activity, safe socialization, and mental health wellness to 40 pregnant women and mothers of babies under one year old, across 4 program sites. The aim is to provide participants with the tools to adopt a healthy lifestyle through monthly sessions that focus on health eating, social experiences, simple exercises and yoga routines, and stress management techniques. Partners include the City of St. John’s, local fitness/yoga instructors, and public health nurses. Funds will go toward yoga mats, healthy snacks, participant transportation, and volunteer honoraria.
MacMorran Community Centre: Newcomer Engagement Parent and Tot (Mental Health Promotion, Child and Youth Development)
This project will engage approximately 30 new Canadians through a parent and tot program, helping mothers reduce their isolation and increase play opportunities for their children. The weekly 2-hour program will include a structured craft activity, free play, and healthy snacks. Mothers may also receive support for other issues they may be struggling with. Sessions will take place in the centre’s large gymnasium, with public health measures in place. Pius X Foodbank will assist with provision of snacks. Grant funds will go towards small toys, craft materials, and supplementary healthy snacks.
Newtown Elementary: Outdoor Learning (Healthy Environments, Physical Activity)
Newtown Elementary is developing their outdoor space to include a learning classroom and play space for their grades 4-6 students. With Covid-19 restrictions, they are looking to do more learning and activity outside. Funds will be used to purchase stencils and paint to create games and distinct spaces on playground concrete, and for yoga mats for indoor and outdoor use. Partners include the neighbouring high school who will provide volunteer students to assist with painting.
Paradise Elementary: Outdoor Physical Education Learning Environment (Physical activity)
The goal of the outdoor physical education learning environment is to further enhance student physical activity using cooperative games and activities. The focus is to build a Gaga Pit which is an outdoor physical education cooperative game that can be utilized by all students. The outdoor space is also a community space that is open to the Town of Paradise and many families use the outdoor play area during the week and on weekends. As a partner, the Town of Paradise will provide staff to assist with the installation of the pit. Funds will be used to purchase the building materials.
Planned Parenthood NLSHC: Gender Affirming Gear Exchange (Mental Health Promotion, Injury Prevention)
The purpose of this project is to provide gender affirming gear (binders, gaffs, make-up, etc) to trans and non-binary people who could otherwise not afford it. Gender affirming gear is expensive but necessary for so many people. Having the appropriate gear has been shown to vastly improve the mental health of trans people. As well it stops people from using dangerous and painful things such as tape and ace bandages which have been shown to cause both immediate and long-term issues for the wearer. Grant funds will go towards the purchase of binders, gaffs, make-up, and adhesive bras. As a partner, Trans Support NL will assist with promoting the program in the trans community, reviewing applications, and distributing gear.
Rennie’s River Elementary: Outdoor Learning Space (Healthy Environments, Physical activity)
The school plans to develop two of their outdoor green spaces to create outdoor learning environments that can be utilized by the entire school as well as foster partnerships with community groups and volunteers who can provide complimentary learning in areas such as gardening, science, music, or physical education. Rennie’s River Elementary is partnering with Cloudberry Forest School to do several learning sessions with the teachers and students. Funds will purchase items for activity bins such as gardening tools, skipping ropes and balls, as well as a music wall, tables, and stools.
St. Bernard’s Elementary: Sensory Walkway (Child and Youth Development, Physical Activity)
This project involves the installation of a sensory walkway in the school’s corridors to provide a sensory break for any student who needs this. It highlights that taking a break is part of good mental health and connects to the school’s social-emotional learning goals. The activities of the pathway also encourage movement and physical activity. Funds will be used to purchase a nature-themed floor decal set. St. Bernard’s is partnering with Rennie’s River Elementary who will provide guidance on the installation and use of sensory walkways based on their own experiences with a similar project.
Upper Gullies Elementary: UGE Playground Enhancement (Healthy Environments, Physical Activity)
The goal of this project is to improve the outdoor play space for students by adding painted games to our pavement and to purchase outdoor play equipment for each class in our school. The space will offer a variety of safe activities that promote physical activity, cooperation, teamwork, numeracy, and literacy. Partners include Beachy Cove Elementary who are renting their pavement stencils (more cost-effective than purchasing) and providing guidance regarding lay-out, etc., the Town of CBS who will prepare the pavement for painting, and the local Timbermart who are donating some of the paint. Funds will be used for stencil rental, paint and related supplies, and small equipment such as balls, bean bags, jump ropes, and sidewalk chalk.