Our Little Way of Saying a BIG Thank you! | Ophea.net

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Our Little Way of Saying a BIG Thank you!

Sunday, November 21, 2021 - 08:19

Join our “Honour Roll of Educators” to help Ophea celebrate 100 years of healthy active living for Ontario students.

Ophea is celebrating a century of healthier kids and communities by reflecting on where we’ve been, looking forward to where we’re going, and—above all—honouring the educators who make it possible.

A lot can happen in a hundred years.

In 1921, when Ophea was founded, the world was emerging from the 1918 influenza pandemic. Weary populations were struggling to cope with its effects but as the last wave receded, there was a renewed sense of hope.

Educational institutions had played an important role in stopping the spread of the disease, and there was an understanding that, going forward, Health and Physical Education should be prioritized in classrooms to set the next generation up for improved health and well-being.

Enter Ophea!

Since that time, our organization has served as a provincial leader in the development and delivery of healthy, active living education in school communities across Ontario and helped to foster generations of healthier, happier students—but, of course, we never could have done it alone!

We’ve come a long way together.

Much of Ophea's early work set the foundation for student health in Ontario today. And while our core work has always been supporting classroom educators, over time we expanded our scope to include influencing policy and practice in the education system and supporting the implementation of health and well-being initiatives in the school community.

One of our most important roles, however, is to be a connector. Over the years, Ophea has established relationships with many sectors and has had the advantage of working with the highest quality volunteers and professionals in Health and Physical Education.

What’s more, the caring classroom teachers in Ontario’s schools—the ones who road test our resources and put the curriculum into practice—are the true heroes. It’s always been the case, but today more so than ever.

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, these individuals have worked tirelessly to foster hope, resilience and learning for students and their families through the most difficult period our generation has ever faced.

Our small way of saying a BIG thank you!

In years past—through our Award of Distinction and Outstanding Contribution Award—Ophea has recognized a handful of Ontario educators for their exemplary passion, integrity, professionalism and commitment to healthy active living. But this year, as we mark our centennial still in the midst of a pandemic, there’s just no way to choose.  

All across Ontario, thousands of educators have gone above and beyond. They’ve pivoted, adapted, stretched their limits and stepped outside their comfort zones, all while consistently putting student well-being first.

That’s why, in 2021-2022, Ophea is compiling an “Honour Roll of Educators” who’ve gone the extra mile and thanking them with a free limited-edition T-shirt (featuring our new anniversary emblem) along with a note of thanks.  

A new emblem to mark this occasion.

To create the emblem featured on the anniversary T-shirt, Ophea worked with artist, designer and Ontario educator, Fred Galang. The centennial emblem is made up of four distinct but connected parts that symbolize our core values, our culture of partnership, where we’ve been, and where we’re headed.

  1. A depiction of joyful, active students (based on a piece of artwork called “The Joy of Movement,” which Ophea received as an 80th anniversary gift): this symbolizes school community
  2. Hands: to symbolize the invaluable contributions of our many partners
  3. Ophea’s original logo: to symbolize our origins
  4. Ophea’s current logo: to symbolize our present as we look toward the future

Looking forward to the next 100 years.

Where we go from here is up to us. And while Ophea remains committed to the core goal of supporting healthy, active living for Ontario children and youth, we recognize that staying flexible, adaptable, and responsive to the needs of this community and the education system is key. 

We’re so glad we can work together!

As we continue to grow (individually and collectively) as a community that supports the well-being of Ontario students, we know you’ll be there to help us by doing what educators do best: asking questions, raising concerns, being curious and creative and—of course—celebrating our collective achievements along the way! It's been a wonderful century; and working with you we can continue to make positive change. We can’t wait to see what comes next.

Here’s to 100 years of healthy, active living—and a 100 more to come!