Students at École Stella-Maris in Clare, Digby Co., will havemore opportunities to be active and healthy. Their school islaunching its Active School Community project on Tuesday, Sept.30. The school’s three-year project is one of 11 pilot sites forActive School Communities, a component of the province’s ActiveKids, Healthy Kids Physical Activity strategy. It is also acomponent of the Department of Education’s Learning for Lifeplan. “Across the province there’s a need and a desire to get our youngpeople active and École Stella-Maris is taking the steps to makethat happen,” said Health Promotion Minister Rodney MacDonald.”Their initiatives will benefit and improve the health of youth,families and the community of Clare.” École Stella-Maris has partnered with the Municipality of Clare,Clare Recreation Department, the South West Nova District HealthAuthority, the local detachment of the RCMP and volunteers fromthe community, including parent and students. The programhighlights the strong partnership between the school and themunicipality. Through it’s funding for the project, the school hired a full-time physical activity co-ordinator. The co-ordinator willconsult with the committee to develop and implement a Walk orBike to School program, field days, and family activities such ascurling, bowling and biking. Parents and teachers will provideworkshops and resources on physical activity, for students. “With a range of daily physical activity opportunities andnutritious food choices, it is our hope that students at ÉcoleStella-Maris will understand the importance of healthy living andwill participate in events with enthusiasm,” said Sean Aucoin,the physical activity co-ordinator. “We want to introduce healthylifestyle habits so that our youth can adopt them now.” Aside from the pilot project committee, Mr. Aucoin is workingwith a volunteer parent committee to offer more nutritious foodchoices and decrease non-nutritious foods at the school’scanteen. The Office of Health Promotion and the Department of Educationare each investing $10,000 per school site for the pilotprojects. The Active Kids, Healthy Kids strategy is based on thevision that, by the year 2010, Nova Scotia will be known as aprovince that experienced a fundamental shift in its support foractive, healthy lives for children and youth.