Dear Parent and Guardians,
What an amazing first week back with your children. I must say that it was truly heartwarming to see the sheer bliss on the face of our students, as they learned that they were not limited to cohort areas and other former cohort restrictions. Students were so grateful for the freedom during unstructured play time and it showed as they tore off across play areas with hoots and hollers. My staff and I are just thrilled to see that the fun of recess is alive and kicking and we have loved seeing the students bounce out those doors to engage with ALL of their peers.
Speaking of bouncing, each year, Cordova Bay staff chooses a theme or concept to guide our work. This year’s theme, aptly, is RESILIENCE - the capacity to recover, bounce back, grow and learn from difficult life events. As a staff, we are always keen to build our own personal toolbox of strategies, so on September 1st we engaged in professional development on resilience with Dr. David Segal the Executive Director of Human Nature Counselling. It was an enriching day of connection and learning that set the stage for supporting positive mental and physical well-being for both staff and students.
As parents, educators and caregivers of elementary school children, we know that by promoting good sleep, food and physical activity we are supporting calmer, more engaged and ultimately more resilient learners. It is also important to note that much of the science proves that spending time in nature should not be overlooked as a key component to building resiliency in humans. A simple walk in the forest can be a terrific way for children to see first hand how nature changes and shifts through the seasons, adapts after a dry summer, recovers from a fire and grows and dies in a constant cycle of life.
Nature is a good mentor and teacher, and I would like to encourage our community to find as many ways as possible this year to connect with our natural environment, in order to build our capacity to bounce back. We will start at the school by promoting National Forestry Week, September 19-25, as “forests are a beacon of renewal, resilience and hope for the future” and then move into supporting the Terry Fox fundraiser with a school run around our beautiful tree lined neighbourhood.
Over the course of the year, I will offer some more suggestions on how you and your family can get out in nature and I welcome your ideas and suggestions to include them in my posts: firstname.lastname@example.org
My first suggestion for your family is to create a bucket list of the parks in our region and beyond that you wish to check out. Perhaps set a goal of visiting them all by the end of the school year! Make it a game with another family and see which family visits the most parks. Take pics during your visits and send to your friendly competition – Snapchat or Instagram may make it fun and easy to share your nature visits. Perhaps you may want to create an online memory book or scrapbook of your adventures. As some of you know, my favourite lake walk for viewing eagles and soaking up the beauty of nature is Killarney Lake https://trailpeak.com/trails/Killarney-Lake-near-Saanich-BC-6524
I wish you and your child(ren) a restful weekend and some rejuvenating time outdoors. I hope to see you on the trails!
Mrs. Mary Lynn Heron