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Clifton School recently held a
school-wide Wellness Day to provide students with examples of how they can
incorporate healthy practices into their daily lives.
The Jan. 26 event had students placed
in mixed-grade level groups and rotating through eight different wellness
stations throughout the day. This included a yoga studio, a mindfulness
workshop, meditation sessions and more.
The day was made possible with a
Manitoba Healthy Schools grant.
“This is a day for students and
staff to focus on the components of health: mind, body and spirit,” said
Principal Nancy MacTavish. “When we looked at the WSD’s Tell Them from Me
Survey, we noticed that the Grades 4 to 6 students can have very high levels of
anxiety. My hope, by having this event, is that students can learn at least one
way to regulate and feel calm whenever something stressful happens in their
Resource Teacher Kim Webster said
students are also learning about self-regulation in the classroom: “We’ve been
covering mindfulness in all of the classrooms through the Mind Up curriculum,
so this event is a nice way to tie it all together. We want students to have a
very Zen and peaceful day.”
Other sessions included: a kindness
workshop with the Prairie Theatre Exchange; a session exploring the impact of
physical activity on mental wellness; a session with the Mood Disorders
Association of Manitoba; and a “spa” in the school’s library, where students
ate healthy snacks, listened to calming music and read quietly.
Elsewhere in the school, WSD
Indigenous Support Teacher Misty Perrun led a session entitled “Mental
Health with an Indigenous Perspective.”
Students learned about the Four
Sacred Medicines, and also participated in a sharing circle and a dry smudge.
“The students really
enjoyed learning about some Indigenous traditions during this session,”
Ms. Webster said.
At the end of the
day, students were sent home with their own wellness kits that included further
materials on all of the sessions they sampled throughout the day.
“Students can now
take these strategies and practise them at home,” Ms. MacTavish said. “It
reinforces all of their learning from today.”
For Clifton teachers,
the day also provided many different ways to support students in finding that
sense of calm.
“By teaching students
these strategies, it changes behavior on the playground, in the hallway and in
the classroom,” Ms. MacTavish said.