Renaissance High School hosted its first Health and Wellness Day on Jan. 22. Staff and students had the opportunity to participate in various activities via Microsoft Teams and Zoom.
RHS mathematics teacher Mr. Means made the suggestion for a health and wellness day during their weekly staff meeting. Means said he thought it would be important for students and teachers to get connected.
“I thought it would be very important for us to do something for students, especially leading up to finals week,” Means said.
Means mentioned that the initial response from teachers was slow because of finals, but eventually more came around. ELA teacher Joielle Hoyle-Speed agreed with his idea.
“I think it’s important for us to stay in tune with our health and our wellness,” Speed said. ”Since we are virtual and things are a lot more stressful than they usually are, when Mr. Means suggested it, I was all for it.”
Speed was in charge of the yoga session that day. She didn’t have the camera set up to lead a yoga flow effectively, so instead she played a video of her favorite yoga instructor, Dr. Chelsea Jackson-Roberts, for everyone to flow with.
Physical education teacher Beth Plumridge, who was in charge of the meditation session, conducted her activity similarly by using the Peloton app for everyone to follow. Plumridge said she believes meditation creates a mindfulness that allows people to become connected with the things they do, the way they behave themselves, and the way they interact.
“My hope with meditation, especially during this period of time, is that this is a way we can branch out and do something that makes us feel good, definitely feel better,” Plumridge said.
Senior and National Honor Society student Myka Pinckney said events like these teach Black kids that they must take a mental health day to regather themselves before jumping back into their routines.
“Initially I thought it was a really good idea for students because we needed a break before finals,” Pinckney said.
She also said she enjoyed the opportunity to just relax for the day.
Means said the success of the day will aid students during the week of finals.
“Sometimes we’ve got to have a little adventure mixed in there in order to really sit down and focus well,” Means said.