APPLE Schools (A Project Promoting healthy Living for Everyone in schools) is an innovative school-focused health promotion initiative that improves the lives of more than 21,000 students annually in 75 schools across Western Canada through healthy eating, physical activity, and mental health. They will be expanding outside of Alberta in the 2018-19 school year.
Since 2007, APPLE Schools has invested over $16 million in vulnerable student populations to prevent chronic diseases related to childhood overweight and obesity. It is estimated this investment will save over $233 million through avoided health care costs, improved academic achievement, enhanced mental wellbeing, and better quality of life.
APPLE Schools transforms school communities through an approach called Comprehensive School Health (CSH). CSH empowers school communities to lead, choose, and be healthy. Each APPLE School is provided a School Health Facilitator (SHF) trained in nutrition, physical activity, and community development. The SHF works with students, parents, school staff, and community members to develop a school action plan to meet the specific needs of their school.
School action plans include activities led by students and are designed to make healthy living fun and engaging. Examples include planting classroom gardens, after-school cooking classes and physical activity programs.