The featured image above depicts Avon Maitland students with Pangnirtung (Nunavut) students at the arctic circle marker and represents the first side of a current exchange happening between Stratford Northwestern’s EatFit Project and YMCA Youth Exchanges Canada.
The exchange includes students from 3 Avon Maitland high schools:
- St Marys (DCVI)
- Stratford Central (SCSS)
- Stratford Northwestern (NWSS)
The students participated in excursions on the land to the arctic circle. They visited a commercial fishing operation and learned all about the Inuit people over the course of the week.
The EatFit team brought donated skates for community kids and a professional rowing machine for the fitness room in the school (which they raised funds for). They also taught cooking classes and yoga while NHL Stanley Cup Champion Greg de Vries took to the ice with a few local hockey teams to lead practices.
On May 1st teacher Mary Alice Arms (SNSS) leads another group of 12 students to Cape Dorset, Nunavut on another YMCA / EatFit exchange. Her co-chaperone is a professional chef who will lead cooking classes for the Cape Dorset / Avon Maitland students.
On the flip side of the exchange, 24 Inuit students from Pangnirtung and Cape Dorset will be in Stratford from May 15 to 22.
About YMCA Youth Exchanges Canada
Youth Exchanges Canada gives groups of 10 to 30 participants between the ages of 12 and 17 the opportunity to initiate community service projects, live in another community, learn Canada’s other official language, or explore Canada’s cultural diversity. Participants are twinned with same-age groups from another province or territory, and they take turns staying in each other’s communities for at least five days.
About the EatFit Project
Lead by teacher Paul Finkelstein (SNSS), the EatFit Project received partial funding from the Government of Nunavut to bring the cooking mental / physical health program back to the community of Cape Dorset yearly for the next five years. AMDSB students are a key part of the team. They are currently working on partnerships with community service organizations and pursuing large grants to complete the funding required.
The EatFit Project is also working in partnership with the University of Waterloo Compass Study. With funding from Health Canada, the EatFit team is delivering the study to schools in the communities they visit. In turn, EatFit gets a flight covered per community. This will provide data on the impact of EatFit over our five-year project in Cape Dorset.