Getting active with the Red Fox Society
We all know: exercise is an important part of a healthy lifestyle and has invaluable benefits for both our mental and physical health. It gives us energy, builds our stamina, and releases endorphins. And that’s just as true for us as individuals as it is for those of us who are parents.
Yet, with busy schedules and dull weather, the motivation to get out and incorporate activity into a daily routine can be difficult.
That’s where the Red Fox Society comes in: through one of our long-standing community partnerships, they are helping students at Qayqayt get active in those vital after school hours!
The Red Fox Society is a non-profit operating within the Lower Mainland that, while they support kids of every background, has a particular focus on connecting Indigenous and inner-city kids with after-school activities. That’s because, often inner-city children don’t have open spaces accessible to them, and the program helps bridge that disconnect … delivering movement based programs in any space.
The program previously ran out of the school’s gymnasium, but given Qayqayt Elementary’ s space limitations, it’s pivoted to being an outdoor program running out of Tipperary Park. Rain or shine, the kids get the opportunity to get a breath of fresh air and spend some time in nature!
Every week the students start with their choice of stations, each with unique equipment they may or may not have tried before. Pogo sticks and hula hoops are among the options, but there’s also badminton racquets and soccer balls … options for every personality or interest.
The week we visited, the kids ran through the park, hopping from activity to activity, enjoying themselves immensely in spite of the drizzle. Squeals of excitement could be heard throughout the park, and each child successfully worked up a sweat! Curiosity fueled them as they tested out new stations, uncertain at times, but always finding some way to engage in an activity … sometimes leaning on staff or volunteers for a little extra help.
After an hour of individual or partner play and stations, and a quick snack break (with healthy options provided by Red Fox Society), it was time for a big group activity. In this case, it was the childhood classic of Duck-Duck-Goose.
There were giggles across the group, as they witnessed the dramatic antics ramp up, in order to win each mini race. Even after stumbling and falling, kids quickly picked themselves up (in a way that only the young can), and charged ahead in their efforts to complete their lap.
As playtime came to a close, one thing was clear: this program is helping build a community through movement, exploration and a healthy dose of laughter and joy … guided by staff and volunteers who supported and clearly cared about each child having a moment to experience some level of a personal win that day.
The Active Play program is currently offered out three of our elementary schools: Lord Kelvin, Lord Tweedsmuir and Qayqayt. To learn more about the Red Fox Society, you can check out their website.