Health and wellness course not available to all students

A Scarborough parent fears her address may prevent her son from learning about proper health and wellness practices because only the Toronto District School Board will offer the program this September.

In the fall, Rene Gordon Elementary School and Donview Middle School will deliver the Health and Wellness Program. Both schools are located in North York. According to the TDSB, the program shows students how to engage in activities that will lead to healthier, active living.

Jennifer Saint attended the information meeting held at Donview MS Wednesday night. She hopes to enroll her son in the Donview Health and Wellness Academy.

“My issue is locations. We are from Scarborough … and (Donview MS) is the closest one. All the others are in the west end,” Saint said. “I just wish they spread it out.”

Students will engage in 30 minutes of daily physical activities, learn about good nutrition and healthy living, helping them to become better learners.

“I think it’s a great program. I think it’s definitely something that’s needed, to have the specialized schools,” Saint said.

Nancy Nikorak, principal of Rene Gordon Elementary, said parents apply for the program online at the TDSB website.

“We go through the applications and depending on how many kids, there may be a lottery,” she said.

Dr. Chris Spence, director of TDSB, said the board received more than 70 online applications in just over a week since the start date of registration. Over 20 per cent of those applications came from outside the TDSB.

Susan Brown, principal of Donview MS, said she has enjoyed the feedback parents have given the program at her school.

“We got people that are very interested,” she said.

As for Saint, she and her son await the results of the application process.