Schools in the Deh Cho netted $3,500 in prizes thanks to the efforts of four separate schools to reduce pop consumption.
Health Minister Julie Green announced the winners of the annual Drop the Pop contest, now in its 17th year, shortly before 3 p.m. Oct. 11.
“Congratulations to students across the NWT who participated in this year’s Drop the Pop challenge,” said Green. “Each year, you create innovative new ways and ideas to help achieve a healthier lifestyle.”
Each school district is awarded a cash prize depending on the efforts of the schools within it. Earning the top prize for the division required four schools involved educational practices and efforts.
Charles Tetcho School in Sambaa K’e hosted a dental hygienist who spoke to the students on the effects of sugary drinks on teeth, while a student led-research project and poster campaign covered the school. Students at Charles Yohin School in Nahanni Butte researched how much sugar was found in processed foods and compared them to homemade foods. They also learned how to make low-sugar alternatives to popular snacks and drinks.
A water bottle design and poster contest was held at Deh Gah School in Fort Providence. At Liidlii Kue Elementary School in Fort Simpson, there’s a policy of no sugary drinks allowed at the school, along with strong messaging from bulletin boards, guest hygienists and teacher-guided lessons on the effects of sugar on teeth.
Mackenzie Delta schools have earned $3,000 for their efforts. Chief Julius School in Fort McPherson sent home an information package for families warning of the effects of sugary drinks like pop and the importance of drinking enough water. Teachers helped drive the point home by leading students in science experiments showing the effects of sugar on teeth.
Meanwhile, families attending Chief Paul Niditchie School in Tsiigehtchic tracked their consumption of sugary drinks for a month and charted the results. The school worked to encourage fruit and vegetable smoothies as alternatives to pop and at the end of the month held a celebratory feast for the families.
In the South Slave region, students at Princess Alexandra School and Harry Camsell Elementary School in Hay River made a pledge to Drop the Pop and were provided with healthy snacks and water. The division was awarded $2,000.
Ecole Boreale, also in Hay River, saw students lead a research project on water quality and the school held classes on how to make alternative beverages to pop. The school was awarded $1,500.
In the Sahtu, Deline’s Ehtseo Ayha School held on-the-land activities, including making broths as an alternative to pop. Chief T’Selehye School in Fort Good Hope distributed literature to students and families provided by the Drop the Pop program. The division was awarded $1,000.
Chief Jimmy Bruneau School, under the Tlicho Community Services Agency, arranged a school garden project to promote both eating vegetables and growing one’s food.
Weledeh Catholic School, part of Yellowknife Catholic Schools, held student led-research into the effects of sugary drinks on teeth and held classes on making alternative beverages. Both districts were awarded $500 each.