CHEO Healthy Kids Awards Program

Remember your favourite little league coach? How about that awesome Girl Guides leader? What made them stand out from the crowd? What did they do – or say – that lifted your spirits, made you believe you could master a new set of skills or that you should not give up ? Why do you remember them so vividly when many others faded from memory?

Your ‘fave’ coach, much loved teacher or music tutor are part of the people that made you who you are.  As the African proverb says ‘It takes a village to raise a child”, and it still holds true today.

So a few years ago CHEO launched an advocacy awards program to recognize that village – those folks in the community that go the extra mile to help children and youth be healthy and active.

The awards program, now entering its toddler years, is now called the CHEO Healthy Kids Awards.  And now, our friends over at CTV News Ottawa are helping us spread the word and profile some of our specialists – and beloved patients – to share some of our expertise in the hope that it comes handy for families in the community. Tune in to the News@6 on Wednesday nights to view those stories. They will go on for a few more weeks.  

We are asking for your help to be on the lookout for individuals, organizations or corporations that go that “extra mile” to help children and youth.  Winners could include coaches, teachers, students, volunteers, community groups, advocates, health service providers, social service agencies or companies who are helping keep the kids in our community healthy and safe.

Award categories:

Youth for Youth: Initiatives/programs created by youth, for youth.

Community Champion: An individual who has really gone the extra mile to encourage the mental or physical development of children and youth.

Community Program: Corporate, non-profit, or other organizational program that contributes to the healthy development of children and youth.

Help for Special Needs: Projects/programs that enrich the lives of children and youth who are developmentally delayed, medically challenged, technologically dependent or who require complex or palliative care.

Innovation & Research: Individual or organization that contributes meaningful data, indicators or approaches to improve how we care for children and youth in our community.

Public Awareness/Policy: Individual or organization raising visibility for a key issue that impacts the health of children and youth, or influences a change in government policy that will positively kids and families.

So please look around your neighbourhood and your favourite haunts, and think about the people helping your children and teenagers. I know there are many worthwhile candidates for our award.  Please ask them to apply for our awards program – or better yet, nominate them yourself! But act now, because submission deadline is January 31st.

For more details, please visit:

As to the person who sticks out in my mind… Mine was Sister Jacqueline, my grade 2 teacher. To help our class from feeling overwhelmed with the quantity of things to study, she would sing-song the important parts you needed to remember for exams. And those silly songs stuck in your head for months! Worked like magic when it came to exam time. 

Am now trying to do this with my son about picking up Lego pieces with limited success… he sings the tune but the Lego stays on the floor!

Now tell me, do you actually remember your little league coach or piano tutor? Did you have a favourite teacher?


Isabelle fancies herself a wordsmith and works at CHEO as a Communications Specialist. She’s 'maman' to a cool 7 year old boy and a hamster. In between helping out at kiddo's hockey practices, the school's book club and beavers meetings she likes to renovate houses, belt out tunes in the car, and help kids get their nature and literacy fix.