Shaping students in mind, body, and spirit in Arlington
The health and wellbeing of students at St. Agnes School/Arlington Catholic has always been a critical part of the mission to educate the whole student in mind, body, and spirit. In recent months though, pandemic challenges and the lasting impact on our young people increased the critical and urgent need to put their social-emotional needs at the forefront. What could be done in addition to the curriculum, outside of the classroom, to engage students and introduce them to resources available?
A schoolwide Wellness Day! In collaboration with the Catholic Health Foundation of the archdiocese, SAS/AC brought this new annual tradition to life. Through a generous grant, CHF funded the day in its entirety for all students in preschool to grade 12.
High School students began the day at the nearby Regent Theater listening to keynote speaker, Debbie Lyn Toomey. Ms. Toomey is a nurse and a health and happiness specialist. Her engaging and interactive presentation focused on how resilience skills can be used to fuel productivity, performance, and positivity. Students in the Middle School gathered together in the lower school's Barton Hall to focus on growing their digital media and technology health toolkit. The workshop led by a parent in the tech field highlighted potential online risks and behaviors.
During this time, dozens of trained professionals in multiple disciplines were setting up in spaces throughout the campus to welcome students and share with them. Upon returning to the school, students were placed in groups and visited the various workshops throughout the campus. The offerings included knitting, financial fitness, self-defense, early cancer detection, animal therapy, CPR and first Aid instruction, and photography. The dedicated guidance counselors worked tirelessly to ensure each student was placed in an area of interest to them.
Another element that made this first annual Wellness Day so successful and unique was the level of participation from esteemed alumni, current and past parents, and organizations in the local community. At SAS/AC, giving back is a major component of the school culture. A major component of this day is to show our students service in action and that sharing your talents and skills with others is essential to your own wellness.
The second annual SAS/AC Wellness Day will be held this coming spring. Learn more at www.achssas.org. New students and transfer applications are currently being accepted for the 2023-2024 academic year.
LISA SIMMONS IS THE DIRECTOR OF COMMUNICATIONS AT ST. AGNES SCHOOL/ ARLINGTON CATHOLIC HIGH SCHOOL (LSIMMONS@ACHS.NET OR 781-646-7770).