Note: This piece was originally published on the WellAhead website. It has been posted here with permission from the author.
If you’ve been following the development of the WellAhead initiative, you’ve probably asked yourself the very reasonable question, “what will this actually look like?” We, too, have struggled at times to bring this concept – using a social innovation lab approach to integrating wellbeing into schools – to fruition. Thanks to a stellar team, some great advice from experts across the country, and incredible passion and interest on the ground, it has finally happened.
In July, we selected six BC communities to take part as pilot districts in the first year of WellAhead (out of a total of 41 applicants, representing 2/3 of all school districts in the province!). Since then, we’ve been working with these six districts – Alberni, Coquitlam, Nisga’a, Okanagan Skaha, Sea to Sky and Victoria – to take them through the first stages of the social innovation lab process. This process begins with “building the foundation” – examining data and hearing from stakeholders to understand the local context. In each district, we are working with a WellAhead Community Liaison and a Local Planning Team who are leading the process with support from the WellAhead team.