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Sixteen schools in the NWT were chosen as the winners of the 2019-2020 Drop the Pop campaign which promotes healthy foods and beverages, the Department of Health and Social Services announced on Monday.

A total of 45 schools entered the challenge using funding provided for their healthy food campaign. The winning schools will receive prizes ranging from $500 to $1,800 in recognition of their efforts. This was the 14th year that Drop the Pop has been offered.

“Congratulations to all winners and participants of this year’s Drop the Pop challenge,” said Diane Thom, Minister of Health and Social Services. “Sugary beverages and low-nutrient food can negatively affect children’s health. Drop the Pop provides learning opportunities for students about how food choices are important to their health as they grow.”

Students at Mildred Hall School learned how to make healthy drinks using fruit and the school was among the 16 winners of the 2019-2020 Drop the Pop campaign. Blair McBride/NNSL photo

Among the winners, several schools stand out.

Students at Mildred Hall School in Yellowknife learned how to make beverages with fresh and frozen fruit. In addition, nurses working in partnership with Ecology North taught children the benefits of drinking tap water.

Paul William Kaesar High School in Fort Smith developed an activity called ‘Thirst Quencher’, a post-apocalyptic scenario in which the water supply was compromised and led to the spread of a zombie virus. Students had to research and compare drinks that would be best for survival as an alternative to water.

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Deh Gah Elementary and Secondary School in Fort Providence banned pop, juice, iced tea and other sugary beverages. The school also organized ‘Drop the Pop’ week with prizes and motivational banners.

At Charles Yohin School in Nahanni Butte, an elder taught students how to make foods from scratch instead of relying on canned or unhealthy foods that have high sugar levels.

Students and their families at Paul Niditchie School in Tsiigehtchic tracked how much pop they drank in a month with the goal of cutting out pop, and learned about healthy drinks they can consume while playing sports and doing other activities.

Blair McBride

Blair McBride covers the Legislative Assembly, business and education. Before coming to Yellowknife he worked as a journalist in British Columbia, Thailand and Ontario. He studied journalism at Western...

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