We're waiting. Our kids are not.
Who are we and why do we care?
Ophea is a not-for-profit organization of almost 30 people (including parents, educators, cyclists, pilots, poets, yogis, bloggers, bakers and one wannabe Batman) dedicated to improving the health of children and youth across Ontario. For years we’ve been fighting for the release of the revised Health and Physical Education (H&PE) curriculum so that all kids have access to quality H&PE, including meaningful sexual health education. Three years after the revised curriculum was released (and a portion quickly revoked) students are still learning from a curriculum older than they are. We need your help.
Kids have a right to learn about their body and health in a straightforward way so that they can make informed decisions to avoid negative outcomes. Ontario students have a right to have a curriculum that meets their needs in today’s ever-changing world, made even more complex by social media, increased technology use, and a cultural shift towards a more open and tolerant society.
What is the situation?
In January 2010, the Ministry of Education released a revised H&PE curriculum that covers a broad range of topics including healthy eating, physical activity, substance use, mental health and sexual health.
In 2010, after misinformation was used to attack the sexual health education section of the elementary H&PE curriculum, the Ministry of Education withdrew that portion of the document. A few months later, they also backed away from releasing the secondary H&PE curriculum. Ever since, teachers have been using all or part of a 15-year-old document to teach sexual health and the other components of the H&PE curriculum. We are well behind other provinces in the country and we owe our 2.1 million students more.
It’s time to bring the H&PE curriculum into this century.
What is at stake?
The health and well-being of our kids is at stake.
- 45% of students feel that sex education classes do not adequately address their concerns.
- 36% of students would not know where to go for help if they or a friend was experiencing mental health problems, such as stress, anxiety or depression.
- Ontario Principals, when asked to comment on the major issues in their schools, most commonly responded that they felt ill prepared to deal with the increasing number of mental health issues they were seeing.
- Almost 1 in 5 students reported that they were intoxicated at school at least once in a 12 month period.
- Less than half of children and youth are getting the recommended number of servings of fruit and vegetables daily.
- Only 5.5% of children and youth in Canada are getting the recommended 60 minutes of daily physical activity.
The revised H&PE curriculum focuses on building skills for active, healthy living that benefit students now and for the rest of their lives. This includes being emotionally and physically healthy, being better able to make informed choices, building relationships based on respect and trust, and developing communities of inclusion.
What can you do?
Ontario students need the revised H&PE curriculum now so that more students don't miss out on quality education they need. Please support our campaign by donating what you can so that we can build awareness and insist that government follow through on their promise to release and implement the revised H&PE curriculum.
This is how we plan to do it:
For $20,000 we will place public service announcements (PSAs) in 5 municipal papers.
For $50,000 we will place PSAs in 5 municipal papers and a ¼ page PSA in a provincial paper.
For $100,000 we will place PSAs in 5 municipal papers and a full-page PSA in a provincial paper.
For $150,000 we will place PSAs in 5 municipal papers, a full-page PSA in a provincial paper and 5 online PSAs.
For $200,000 we will place PSAs in 5 municipal papers and full-page PSAs in two provincial papers.