School health in action:
Categories: Mental Health, Health Promotion, Junior High, Senior High, Elementary, Northern Alberta,
You matter to us.
These are powerful words. For more than a decade, they've echoed across the Peace River School Division (PRSD), reminding families of the important role they play in supporting student learning, success, and well-being.
PRSD proudly hosts Families Matter Week, an annual celebration of parents, guardians, and other caregivers and family members. It's an intentional effort to welcome caring adults into schools and show them how much they're respected and valued.
Acts of appreciation and gratitude
During Families Matter Week, PRSD students and staff come up with creative, thoughtful, and fun ways to appreciate families. Each school community draws on its unique interests and strengths to decide the activities they'll take on. Here are some examples of what's been done so far:
- Photo walls, posters, and other art displays
- Bring a family member events like school music shows, sport events, cultural celebrations, and family game nights
- Pancake breakfasts and hot chocolate giveaways at school drop-off
- Thank you videos created by students and shared via PRSD social media
- Partnerships with local businesses that offer discounts on family activities
- Dress like your caregiver spirit events
- Activity ideas for families to try at home, like scavenger hunts, dance-offs, or scripts for kids to interview their family members
- Social media campaigns and hashtag challenges
To wrap up the week, every PRSD student is offered class time to write a personal message of thanks to their parents, guardians, or other caregivers. Each unique card, note, or letter is then hand-delivered or sent by mail.
A shared vision
Above all, Families Matter Week is about engagement and connection. The annual event stems from a 2011 online engagement forum, where PRSD leaders asked students and families about how they'd like caregivers to be involved in education. More than anything, people expressed their desire for families to be better connected to their schools. Leaders took their words, ideas, and solutions to heart, and Families Matter Week is now a core part of the PRSD school experience.
"Families go out of their way to encourage our kids, and their contributions to society are celebrated during Families Matter Week. The Peace River School Division believes it's incredibly important to celebrate families and their support of education." – Adam Murray, Superintendent, Peace River School Division
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