St. Thomas, Ontario, March 20, 2017 As part of the local 'Healthy Kids Community
Challenge,' all Elgin elementary schools have been invited to participate in the
'Great Big Gulp!' to celebrate making tap water the go-to drink for good health.
Ontario's Healthy Kids Community Challenge (The Challenge) is a community-led program
where partners from different sectors work together to implement activities to promote
healthy kids. Funded by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, Elgin County
is one of 45 challenge communities.
Local activities are based on provincially coordinated themes related to healthy
eating, physical activity and adequate sleep. The current theme, 'Water Does Wonders,'
encourages kids and families to drink more water. Water is the natural and free
choice for kids to stay hydrated. In turn, healthy hydration is an important component
of healthy eating as a whole.
Some examples of local work done to promote water have included:
- 36 water hydration station award packages with signage distributed to schools and
agencies where Elgin children play and learn.
- A video-making contest for Grades 3-7 classes demonstrating the importance of choosing
tap water as a healthy, low-cost and socially preferred drink. These videos were
celebrated at a 'Blue Carpet' event where 150 people attended to see the screenings
of the 7 entries, with McGregor Public School's Grade 4 class taking home the top
award of $1,000 https://youtu.be/DeboBErYVS0.
- A social media campaign using #IChooseTapWater.
- The distribution of water bottles to children across Elgin County through schools,
the health unit, dental clinic and community partners.
- Numerous in-school programs support such as curriculum connected information for
teachers, 'Sugar Shocker' health wall displays, and resources for parents to name
To top off the 'Water Does Wonders' theme ending March 31st, the 'Great Big Gulp'
will be held on Thursday, March 23rd, 2017 at 11:00 am. Registered elementary schools
will arrange to have their students and staff ready with reusable water bottles
full of cold tap water to take a 'Great Big Gulp!' all at once! This will be a time
of slurps, glugs and ahhhhs. Participating schools are implementing the 'Great Big
Gulp' in a variety of ways, such as count-downs over the announcements or at school
Monsignor Morrison invites you to attend their grade 3 classroom (teacher: Amanda
Marcinkiewicz) for their countdown. Please consider joining some of 'The Challenge'
partners, including the Mayor of the City of St. Thomas, on Thursday March 23rd
at 10:50 am at Monsignor Morrison.
For more information on the Healthy Kids Community Challenge contact:
Elgin Project Manager, Erica Arnett firstname.lastname@example.org 519.631.9900 ext.
Public Health Dietitian, Cathy Macpherson RD email@example.com
519. 631.9900 ext. 1251.