Food a focus for P.E.I. Home and School this year

The P.E.I. Home and School Federation wants to get more nutritious food in front of Island students, and provide an environment where they are more likely to eat it.

Half of the resolutions scheduled for a vote at the April meeting of the federation are focused on food. They include:

- To request that the Public Schools Branch to lead and assist in the establishment of a provincial school food strategy.

- To request that the Public Schools Branch launch pilot projects guided by the School Nutrition Policy.

- To request that the Public Schools Branch to strictly enforce its policy of a minimum 20-minute school lunch eating time.

- To request that the Public Schools Branch develop policy for the purpose of implementing a 10 minute healthy snack time apart from recess.

The resolutions cite research that found students are more likely to eat a complete meal if they have at least 20 minutes dedicated to eating, not including time standing in line to get food or preparing food.

The resolutions also suggest for elementary students eating should come after outside play time.

Shorter class times, improved couseling, libraries

For high school students, one resolution suggests requesting that the Public Schools Branch switching the day from four 75-minute classes to five 60-minute classes.

The resolution expresses concern that 75 minutes is too long to keep student productive and engaged.

Another resolution requests improved access to counseling services in schools, with a target of one counsellor to every 250 students.

One resolution asks for a review of the Minister of Education, Early Learning and Culture's directive on school libraries, in the interest of better support to school libraries and teacher-librarians.

A motion will also be presented to increase annual fees to the PEI Home and School Federation to $100 for schools with fewer than 200 students, and $200 for schools with more than 200 students.

The P.E.I. Home and School Federation will meet in Charlottetown on April 8.

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