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Marisa Orfei
Magdalena Pawlowski

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Ribbon HUNDRED 2020
APPLE Schools is an innovative health promotion initiative that impacts the lives of 20,000 students annually in Canada.

APPLE Schools

Edmonton, Alberta
APPLE Schools works with vulnerable school communities to change students' healthy eating, physical activity, and mental health habits to improve their quality of life. The initiatives are fun and excite students to move more, eat better, and be more mindful. While school staff and parents guide the students, the project's success ultimately relies on student leaders taking charge.

APPLE Schools makes the healthy choice the easy choice

Success Coach, Lee Ridge School - Edmonton, Canada
“Students are a joy to watch, making positive choices to empower themselves by eating healthy, staying active, growing their minds, and contributing to the community of CARE in our school community.”

Success Coach, Lee Ridge School - Edmonton, Canada

APPLE Schools works with vulnerable schools to integrate healthy initiatives into the school day in a way that avoids giving already busy teachers more work.

APPLE Schools supports each community in developing a unique action plan that outlines its path toward a sustainable and healthy community, and they help to implement it.

The project is evidence based. Working with the School of Public Health, University of Alberta, we know that APPLE Schools benefits all students, regardless of socioeconomic background. Students who attend APPLE schools take ownership of their own health and demonstrate several benefits:

     • Decreased mental health visits in adolescence

     • 35% increase in physical activity, in and out of school

     • 2-3 times more steps taken per day

     • Consume 10% more fruits and vegetables per day

     • Have a 40% less chance of becoming obese than students in comparison schools

     • Show an improved quality of life, leadership abilities, productivity, and learning

     • Take healthy habits home, influencing the home environment positively

Schools develop an action plan that outlines its community’s unique health goals, and a roadmap for how to get there. The plans include activities led by students and are designed to make healthy living fun and engaging. Examples include planting class gardens, physical activity programs, mindfulness activities, student leadership training, healthy snack programs, resiliency training, Indigenous games, and more.

During the time of COVID-19, APPLE Schools has adapted to the changing needs of school communities and stays relevant by supporting student health at home. We provide wellness resources and host professional development events to ensure students stay healthy and motivated during a challenging time. 

The approach that APPLE Schools uses for its implementation model is the comprehensive school health approach, an internationally recognized framework for supporting improvements in students' educational outcomes while addressing while addressing school health in a planned, integrated and holistic way.

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Innovation Overview
5 - 18
Age Group
100 000
Tips for implementation
The APPLE Schools model requires a paid school health facilitator to mobilize the community and lead initiatives for the first 3 years of implementation. It also requires creating an annual action plan, implementation funds, professional development, and engagement from the whole school community.
Contact information
Marisa Orfei
Magdalena Pawlowski

See this innovation in action

Even though students couldn't go to school, many still celebrated Outdoor Classroom Day. They took a walk out in nature to calm their minds, a...
During the pandemic, APPLE Schools has been sharing healthy snack recipes for students to try at home. These students are whipping up overnigh...
APPLE schools love to celebrate! And they do so with a fun, healthy lens. This student has decorated her own healthy treat jack-o-lantern as p...
A school health mentor brought her young children to help her stock grab-and-go apple baskets for a parent teacher night proving you are never...
One APPLE school had a day full of traditional activities, which included some young talented dancers from the school and an Indigenous elder ...
When it’s below -20 degrees outside, APPLE schools promote physical activity indoors. These kiddos are making the best out of the brisk temper...
This school promoted wellness by hosting a tropical-themed family wellness night which included fruit scavenger hunts, healthy snacks, a salad...
School heath facilitators and mentors are trying a new activity to bring to school communities to inspire health and wellness. 


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