Photo by JONATHAN GUIGNARD/Advocate staff Colour Specialist Matt Toonders is providing the Grade 7 students at Central Middle School tips on wood finishing. Toonders was at the school for the celebration of District Recognition Night that took place later that evening.

Red Deer Public Schools celebrate community contributors

Fitness boot camp, chainsaw artists and wood working were all part of the excitement at Central Middle School as Red Deer Public Schools celebrated two community contributors to public school education Thursday afternoon.

The Friends of Education Award went to 360 Fitness and Shawn and Natalie Moore for their commitment to improving education for students.

Stu Henry, superintendent for Red Deer Pubic Schools, said the recipients have done incredible amounts of work and it’s been beneficial to the students.

“They’ve (360 Fitness) done some tremendous things. They’ve done fundraisers to help drive our nutrition programs and they’ve even led wellness activities for our staff to make our staff healthy,” said Henry.

Henry said the Moores’ generosity is something that shouldn’t go unnoticed.

“The Moores have been fantastic neighbours in the Mountview community. Shawn shovels the walks in front of the school every time it snows. He does educational programs about trees and donates ski and golf passes to the kids,” said Henry.

Keeping the kids active is something Henry said is extremely important, especially when it comes to learning.

“If the kids aren’t healthy and well, we can’t expect them to learn. It’s important for us to keep them moving. We need them thinking about healthy choices and good nutrition,” said Henry.

“If they’re healthier, they’re going to learn better and we love that.”

Not only has Henry seen a change in students over the years when it comes to living healthier lifestyles, but said he’s also seen a change in the parents.

“We have every single school concentrating on how to make kids healthier and one of the nice spin-offs is that some of these activities seem to be going home too and making families healthier,” said Henry.

Henry said the best part is that the recipients expect nothing in return and are doing it only because they care.

“They really don’t ask about what’s in it for them. They’re doing it because they genuinely care about the kids and want to make them better while making our schools a better place,” said Henry.

jonathan.guignard@bprda.wpengine.com

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