L’École L’Odyssée’s Wellness Club

From my Healthy Living column in Moncton’s Times & Transcript.

Who says health isn’t a subject high-schoolers can’t have an interest in? Denise Bourget and Claudette Devarennes-Melanson are two public health nurses who have started a wellness club for the students at L’École L’Odyssée, the Moncton francophone high school that they both work at on a part-time basis.

The wellness club debuted at the beginning of the 2010-2011 school year and currently has five members: Mélanie Cohé, Annie Allard, Joline Melanson, Claire Wilson-Aubé, and Josée Belliveau, all tenth graders and good friends. The club has organized wellness activities such as smoothie sales and school walks at L’École L’Odyssée throughout the year and has occasional meetings, typically on a monthly basis.

The club’s smoothie sales are its most popular activity. Joline explains that the club usually sells eight to one-hundred-twenty smoothies during each sale, using all of the money earned to pay for the ingredients.

The smoothies are a blended concoction made of frozen yogurt and fruit, bananas, strawberries, orange juice and, for St-Patrick’s day, kiwis. The club held its smoothie sales during a few lunch periods and the school’s open house day. Mélanie explains that the club’s members coordinate during the sales; some work to blend the smoothie ingredients together, others pour, and a few walk around with trays and sell smoothies.

Another team effort initiated by the club was their wellness walk held earlier last week. The students promenaded around the streets near the school, their feet adorned with wacky decorated sneakers and their hands waving ribbons and kites. Claire, who is interested in studying medicine later on, says the group’s creative look attracted the attention of curious car passengers. The idea of the walk was to promote a healthy habit to L’École l’Odyssée students.

Annie says that she enjoys being part of the club since she likes wellness and spending time with fellow club members. Josée says that the club was a different experience for her, not having done something similar in the past. ”I think it’s important that teens be in good health and know that practicing healthy habits isn’t boring.”

L’École L’Odyssée’s wellness club will continue during the 2011-2012 school year and is currently planning activities for Wellness Week, an annual provincial week of focus on wellness that is held in October. Ms. Devarennes-Melanson and Ms. Bourget can be contacted at  869-6919 during the school year.

Originally published in the Times & Transcript on June 25th, 2011.

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