Award honours well­ness ef­forts


What do a li­brary sys­tem and a fit­ness re­source cen­tre have in com­mon?

The an­swer that may spring to mind is “noth­ing,” but the suc­cess­ful part­ner­ship be­tween Chi­nook Arch and Leth­bridge Col­lege Be Fit For Life (BFFL) proves oth­er­wise. Th­ese two or­ga­ni­za­tions share a pas­sion for bring­ing ac­tive liv­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties to as many peo­ple as pos­si­ble, and were re­cently rec­og­nized with a ChooseWell Healthy Com­mu­nity Award for the cre­ation of phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity re­sources. Th­ese re­sources are avail­able for use by the 31 ru­ral mem­ber li­braries in the Chi­nook Arch re­gion when plan­ning and de­liv­er­ing com­mu­nity-based pro­gram­ming.

Known as the Re­gional Pro­gram­ming Col­lec­tion, the re­sources in­clude giant check­ers, parachutes, jug­gling scarves, in­door mini golf, hoops, and other phys­i­cal lit­er­acy games.

“As com­mu­nity hubs for ac­tiv­ity and in­for­ma­tion, li­braries strive to serve their com­mu­ni­ties to the best of their abil­ity,” says Lisa Weekes, Man­ager of Part­ner­ships and Com­mu­nity Devel­op­ment for Chi­nook Arch. “It is through unique col­lab­o­ra­tions that li­braries are able to of­fer a wider va­ri­ety of pro­gram­ming than they could on their own.”

Col­lab­o­ra­tion on this project took the form of BFFL staff pro­vid­ing phys­i­cal lit­er­acy train­ing and pro­gram­ming ideas for re­gional li­brary staff.

“I think it is al­ways a won­der­ful thing when you can part­ner with an­other group and make a pos­i­tive im­pact on the com­mu­nity,” says Tif­fany Wideen, Pro­gram Ad­min­is­tra­tor for BFFL. “We loved the idea of shar­ing ac­tive liv­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties with the peo­ple who call ru­ral com­mu­ni­ties home”

“The power of part­ner­ships never fails to amaze me,” adds Weekes. “To­gether we were able to of­fer what nei­ther or­ga­ni­za­tion could on its own.”

The part­ner­ship proved worth­while, with the pieces of the col­lec­tion be­ing used 75 times by 20 li­braries in the first six months.

The ChooseWell Healthy Com­mu­nity Awards cel­e­brate the ef­forts and achieve­ments of com­mu­ni­ties and well­ness cham­pi­ons across Al­berta in pro­mot­ing ac­tive liv­ing.

Weekes hap­pily ac­cepted the award in the cat­e­gory of “Build­ing Com­mu­nity Ca­pac­ity” that was pre­sented in Oc­to­ber dur­ing the Al­berta Re­cre­ation and Parks As­so­ci­a­tion Con­fer­ence.

Sub­mit­ted photo

Par­tic­i­pat­ing in the pre­sen­ta­tion of the ChooseWell Healthy Com­mu­nity Award in Oc­to­ber were, from left, Lisa McLaugh­lin, Pro­gram Man­ager, Com­mu­ni­ties ChooseWell; Lisa Weekes, Man­ager of Part­ner­ships and Com­mu­nity Devel­op­ment; Alim Gil­lani, Se­nior Pol­icy Lead, Al­berta Health and Can­dace Nyk­i­foruk, Al­berta Re­cre­ation and Parks As­so­ci­a­tion board mem­ber.

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