Hundreds of students met at a symposium at a Calgary school to brainstorm ways to create healthy school communities to help their friends can stay active throughout the day.

This day-long event is hosted by Ever Active School where the focus is on healthy eating, positive mental wellness and active living.

“It’s really important because we're still kids and we're trying to grow up and so we have to be healthy while we're growing,” says Grade five student David Aristizabal.

The message is not just about trying to be healthy, it's trying to have fun.

 “We'll engage close to 3,500 students across the province in this conversation around healthy school communities so it's working and the growth continues exponentially each year,” says Chris Fenlon-MacDonald with Ever Active Schools.

Many of the grade four through 12 students at Tuesday’s event are leaders in their school and the older students are doing what they can to mentor the younger ones.

The aim is to get them to think of fun ways their fellow students can become more active and then devise a plan to put those ideas into action.

“If this had been with me my entire educational career it would be amazing,” says Grade 11 student Tia Hancock.” You feel more involved, connected, and you feel like you make a difference and you're not a piece that just has to go through.”

Organizers say these students are very engaged and really want to make a difference in the world.

 “This is what gets us out of bed in the morning,” says the Calgary Board of Education’s Mark Bylsma. “We want to see kids get really excited about wellness and wanting to make a difference in their building, and in their lives, and their families, friends, etc.”

Ever Active School says this symposium will give students the tools they need to set up a year-long plan to embed wellness throughout their entire school community.

(With files from Kevin Fleming)