Community News

North Merrick Families Practice Peace Of Mind At Mindfulness Retreat

Pictured: North Merrick families enjoyed a variety of relaxing activities at the Mindfulness Retreat on Jan. 11, including colorfully designed pinwheels.

Photo courtesy of North Merrick Union Free School District

As part of the North Merrick School District’s commitment to mental health and creating a welcoming and inclusive environment, it hosted its second annual Mindfulness Retreat. Families of students in grades 4-6 relaxed, bonded and relieved stress throughout the evening, which was held at Old Mill Road School on Jan. 11.

A variety of activities offered the chance for students and their loved ones to clear their mind, count their breath and get creative. Guests broke up into groups to visit several workshops that featured stress-relieving activities, such as an active session of Zumba hosted by teacher Mara Karfinkel. In “Neurographic Drawings,” freehand doodles came alive on pages through a series of dots connected by squiggly lines, while “Positivity Rocks!” had participants write positive affirmations on artistically decorated rocks. Custom pinwheels took form in “Tranquil Whirlwinds” as families followed the crafting steps while adding their own colors. Additionally, groups mixed ingredients to create bath bombs in an aromatherapy session and soft and squishy snow dough, which helps to improve concentration and reduce distractions.

Students also shared their own methods of relaxation. Before the workshops kicked off, Mindful Mentors Samantha Lange, Jonathon Cozelino, Sydney Krueger-Brozik, Ryan Hain and Jason Perski shared practices that have helped them relieve anxiety. Sixth graders Jaqlyn Rodriguez and Selma Radoncic also stopped by workshops to share their own writing about how they reduce stress. At the close of the event, students received mindfulness journals filled with mental health related activities and cups of hot cocoa powder.

“We are thrilled to see an excellent turnout at this year’s Mindfulness Retreat,” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Cynthia Seniuk. “The event is an important reminder of fostering positive mental health with the support we find within each other.”

A Mindfulness Retreat for students and families in kindergarten-grade 3 is scheduled for Feb. 8.

Related Posts