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Students Relax and Recharge at Health and Wellness Institute

DrummingFebruary 26, 2024 – Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools high schoolers and middle schoolers spent a day learning how to take better care of themselves as part of the district’s Health and Wellness Institute.

Hundreds of high schoolers and Middle Schoolers each spent most of a Monday at the Education Building partaking in workshops meant to help them take control over their physical, mental, emotional, and social health. They spoke with educators and guest advisors and participated in workshops built around honing skills in stress management, communication, self-expression, and maintaining a work-life balance. The program strikes an equilibrium between instilling healthy habits that will serve students well in adult-life while also giving them space to learn at their own pace and accept the growth mindset they need as children.

Team Building“We want them to learn something new that will help them cope with the stresses of school and of life,” said Chief Officer of Student Services Clinton Wilson. “It’s important for them to have moments of clarity like this where they can just be kids.”

Workshops took a variety of forms over the course of several hours. Students got to practice stress-relieving activities like music and scrapbooking, listen to panels from experts on personal wellness, and speak with their peers about the obstacles they face on a daily basis and the strategies they use to overcome their problems. Even beyond the curriculum for the day, the experience of the institute improved student wellness by giving them a positive and productive environment to reanalyze their stressors in.

Scrapbooking“They were engaged, and they were having fun and communicating with each other,” Lead Elementary School Counselor Patti Durham said at the high school event. “There’s been a lot of laughter today.”

The lessons of the Health and Wellness Institute were generally simple and straightforward to put into action, but mindfulness is the key. Wellness and self-care are choices that a person has to consciously make every day to get the full benefits. The hope is that the institute will leave a lasting impression on students that allows them to be more in tune with themselves, as well as how their classmates are doing.

Cornell Jones“I learned how to be more mindful of my feelings and more thoughtful of others,” said Parkland High School Senior Kemia Worthy. “I think it helped me to be more open-minded and not always focus on the negatives.”

Student wellness is a top priority for WS/FCS. Students who feel safe, healthy, and valued in their schools are far more likely to succeed in the classroom and beyond. WS/FCS will continue seeking out every opportunity to foster greater wellness among students with events like the Health and Wellness Institute, and hopefully, the atmosphere of support that these programs create will be an inspiration to every student in the district.

“They have a whole community here to support them,” said Cornell Jones, a feature producer at ESPN and a special guest speaker at the institute. “A lot of the time, wellness is made out to be an individual pursuit, but today, they saw that that isn’t the case.”

Jake Browning
jbrowning2@wsfcs.k12.nc.us
(336) 727-8213 Ext. 70545