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Connetquot Celebrates Mental Health Awareness With Wellness Days

Pictured: John Pearl Elementary students participated in a guided painting activity. 

Photo courtesy of Connetquot Central School District

In honor of May being Mental Health Awareness Month, Connetquot School District’s buildings each participated in wellness activities.

On the districtwide calendar, each day of May was assigned an action step to promote wellness. For example, students were encouraged to disconnect from technology, stretch for 15 minutes, limit sugary drinks, say a positive affirmation, check in on a friend and more.

During wellness days, students were shown presentations on healthy habits and nutrition by Northwell Health and Youth Enrichment Services. Some also completed a wellness walk and ended their walk by signing the “pledge to be well” banner. Students read, “A Little Peaceful Spot” by Diane Alber and reflected on when they feel most peaceful.

They partook in lessons on mindfulness, guided painting and participated in mindfulness scavenger hunts.

Students participated in various physical activities that provided social, emotional and mental health benefits. For instance, Katarina Hendrickson taught “Stretch and Connect,” a routine that included meditation and sound bowls, and students learned martial arts techniques from Dragon Gate Martial Arts Academy. Some buildings also partook in Zumba, Kerboom Fitness and Brazilian Jiu Jitzu classes.

At Connetquot High School, community resources and wellness vendors were presented. There were also nutrition and food samplings, yoga and meditation for students. Connetquot High School’s psychology students visited elementary buildings, providing mindfulness workshops to their younger peers.

At the Oakdale-Bohemia and Ronkonkoma middle schools, students visited the Wellness Fair where they sampled healthy foods and received information about stress reduction, mindfulness and making healthy choices. They were invited to participate in “calm coloring,” “peaceful puzzles” and “inspirational ink.” Students also made cards for hospitalized children and stopped by the “positive affirmation station” while wearing green to support mental health awareness and shirts with kind, positive messages on them.

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