Healthy Kids Community Challenge Leeds and Grenville

Little girl blowing bubbles

Power Off and Play! Community Initiative

Healthy Kids Community Challenge Leeds and Grenville is pleased to announce the awardees of the Power Off and Play! Community Initiative. This initiative is designed to engage communities around the fourth theme of the Healthy Kids Community Challenge: Power Off and Play! Approximately $50,000 has been awarded to eleven recipients across Leeds and Grenville to implement initiatives that help create a supportive environment that promotes powering off devices before sleep and during meal and snack times, and encourages physical activity, social interaction, and fun and educational activity choices for children.

The initiatives include a variety of gardening, lending libraries of sports equipment, trail development and outdoor classrooms. The following recipients have been awarded funding through the Power Off and Play! Community Initiative:


Tinker Lab: Play and Power Off and Play! Packs (Brockville Public Library)

The Tinker Lab: Play will introduce an active, outdoor component to programming to support families and unstructured play for children over six weeks in the summer. Items will be lent to children and their families to be used outdoors at local parks, at home or while camping. These resources can also be borrowed by community partners to use with children and families at events. Power Off and Play! Packs will be created and added to the library's Experience Collection and contain resources to help replace screen time with other fun activities.

Contact: Lisa Cirka, 613-342-3936 ext. 6424


Inside/Out Days (Meadowview Public School - Addison)

Two “Inside/Out Days” will be held where classes will be held outside. A number of activities will be organized. Kindergarten classes will be introduced to track and field activities in a one day event. A trip to Camp Iawah will be planned for Grades IV and V. The school will purchase Omnikin Ball kits and train the staff and students to use it. It will enhance the daily recess, body breaks and physical education classes.

Contact: Paula Mooney 613-384-1918

Front of Yonge Township

Recreation Lending Library (Front of Yonge Township Public Library - Mallorytown)

The library will expand its lending library to include recreational equipment. The items will be available for children and families to use to increase physical activity and outdoor play. Educational material and strategies will be included to address screen time for parents and families.

Contact: Lisa Marston 613-923-1790


“Wonder Wagons” and School Garden (St. Joseph Catholic Elementary School - Gananoque)

The “Wonder Wagons” will be used by the Kindergarten classes to explore the community. The wagons will carry binoculars, compasses, safety glasses, clipboards, gloves, garbage bags, etc., that the children will use to learn about the outdoor environment. Two of the teachers will receive Forest School training through a workshop. The teachers will share this new information with the other staff members to enhance nature related activities.

The school garden will start with an indoor garden to start the seedlings, and then be moved outdoors to raised beds. The children will learn what is involved and what activities are necessary to start and maintain a vegetable garden. The produced grown in the gardens will be donated to the local food bank.

Contact: Jacey Kellar 613-382-2361

Leeds and the Thousand Islands

Summer Bucket List Challenge (Township of Leeds and the Thousand Islands-Lansdowne)

The Township of Leeds and Thousand Islands is introducing a challenge for up to one hundred children. A bucket will be given to children and in that bucket there will be a number of items that can help get children active. There will also be a list of tasks and activities that children can try to complete over the summer. These include passes to a local pool, use of items from the lending library and challenges that can be completed in parks, play grounds, backyards and camp sites. Those children who complete thirty or more challenges will be eligible for a draw of additional prizes.

Contact: Cara Lemkay 613-659-2415 ext. 228

North Grenville

Outdoor Learning Space (Ecole elementaire et secondaire publique Riviere Rideau - Kemptville)

The school has adopted a trail as part of its Forest School program. It will create activities to make the trail more fun and accessible to other users. An outdoor learning space at the beginning of the trail will be developed. This space will be accessible to trail users who wish to enhance their learning experience.

Contact: Julie McLean 613-258-1555

Tuesday Trail Running/Walking Challenge (Municipality of North Grenville, Kemptville)

This initiative will help support and encourage individuals and families to run, walk, stroll, and wheel in the Ferguson Forest Centre. Participants will be encouraged to join the challenge from May to August and to use other trails in the Municipality, too. Emphasis will be put on getting outdoors in a social and natural setting away from screens. Families who choose to participate can enter the “Run Together” challenge. Incentives and prizes will be provided and a final social, award event will be held to celebrate all of those who participated and volunteered time or resources.

Contact: Tammy Hurlbert 613-258-9569

Outdoor Education Week (Kemptville Public School- School/Parent Council)

The special week will include a nature-based learning opportunity at a local conservation area and physical literacy and education in the school yard. A “Screen–Free Day” will also be included. Resources will be sent home to families to provide information about reducing screen time and promoting physical outdoor play at home.

Contact: Jill Sturdy 613-276-7226.


Lawn Bowling (Prescott Lawn Bowling Club)

Children ages 8 to 12 years of age will be offered free of charge the opportunity to bowl once a week through July and August. For many children this would be the first time to be introduced to the outdoor sport and to participate in the skills, drills and games necessary to learn the sport. It offers an excellent opportunity for the development of team work, sportsmanship and Fair Play. It is a fun activity that could replace some screen time.

Contact: Mary Campbell 613-925-2812

“Play in Prescott” (Corporation of the Town of Prescott)

This initiative will establish a lending library of sport and recreational equipment to children and families. The objectives are to improve affordable access to recreation and leisure activities, promote physical literacy, encourage outdoor play and reconnect people with nature. Resources and educational material will be promoted to increase awareness of the screen time guidelines and the importance of social interaction and fun activities.

Contact: Katie Allard 613-925-2812 ext 6210

Rideau Lakes

Family Forest School Drop-In Program (Rideau Valley Conservation Foundation, Westport)

A free Family Forest School Drop-In Program will be developed and run between April and August. Families will be introduced to the beauty of the outdoors by using the Forest School Model in which participants engage in repeated and regular visits to natural area where they direct their learning through active play. Resources will be provided to families regarding screen time guidelines and the connection between outdoor play and improved sleep patterns.

Contact: Rebecca Whitman 613-273-3255


The following Toolkit is intended for use by Power Off and Play Initiative recipients.

For questions related to the toolkit, please contact the HKCC Leeds and Grenville Co-Facilitator, Alexis Green at or (613) 258-5941.