Wellness Day has a positive impact on Dexter's Mill Creek Middle School

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Wellness Day included topics on physical fitness, mental health, nutrition, and many others. photo courtesy of the Mill Creek Middle School Wellness Committee

A cool thing that comes out of Mill Creek Middle School’s Wellness Day are the reactions of the students after the day is done.

What they thought of it and how it may have helped them?

These are just two questions to gauge their takeaways.

Tyler McNeely, a seventh-grader, said this when asked, what do you think of wellness day?

“It was something different from a usual school activity. It shook up the whole school and surprised us all. It was all over the place in a good way.”

Eighth-grader Isabelle Miller said she thought the day was unusual, but also in a good way.

“Some of the classes were sad and some were relaxing and some were more happy,” she said. “It was really interesting how interactive it was.”

Both students said the day had a positive impact on them.

“I think it did have a positive impact on me,” Isabelle said. “It was really nice to not be worrying about normal school stuff and just think about other things for a while. Playing music was nice, too.”

Of the specific ways it impacted him, Tyler said “Yes, it definitely showed the best ways you can function when you sleep or function through sound and rhythm. It opened up a lot for me emotionally and physically.”

Exploring one's creative side was part of Wellness Day. photo courtesy of Mill Creek Wellness Day Committee

Wellness Day took place last month at the Mill Creek. Its organizers, the Mill Creek Wellness Day Committee, describe it as a half-day of school where students took part in a variety of workshops and classes covering a diverse range of topics related to wellness. These classes included topics on physical fitness, mental health, nutrition, and many others.

The Mill Creek Wellness Day Committee said, “The goals were to help students learn more about various topics related to health and wellness, engage with members of the community working in wellness-related fields or those passionate about wellness, and to be able to come out of the day with strategies and the knowledge to positively impact their sense of wellness and those around them.”

The committee is made up of Melanie Dever, Chris Hoelscher, Anna Romano, Laura Saulles, Macy Selecman, David Sinopoli-Smith, Kasey Straub, Lauren Straub and Danna Webber.

They said the day was a huge success.

“We had excellent presenters and a diverse selection of classes for students to choose from,” the committee told The Sun Times News through an email Q and A. “Students were engaged and having fun throughout the morning, while learning really important things that impact their daily lives. The staff at Mill Creek is hoping to take the positive feedback we received from students and continue to prioritize issues of wellness in the future.”

How the day works involves members of the community volunteering to run wellness classes and workshops related to their professional expertise or passions. The committee said students previewed class descriptions and chose classes and workshops that sounded interesting or spoke to their needs, and then they were placed in their choice classes and worked with peers who also chose those sessions. Students transitioned between their four different scheduled classes throughout the morning.

Vance Biskner, a seventh-grader, when asked, what would you like the community to know about wellness day, said, “It was really helpful for kids who are having a hard time in life emotionally. It’s good to know you’re not alone when you’re stressed and sad, and that there’s always someone who knows what you’re going through and can help you.”

Seventh-grader Genevieve St. Charles, said, “It was a day when everyone could just be themselves and we didn’t have to present ourselves to the world. It was kind of like a day when we all took our mental health into consideration. It was like a mental check-in.”

Fellow seventh-grader Audrey Dorsch, summed it up this way, “I thought it was really, really fun. My classes taught us helpful things that we could use for the future.”

Wellness Day saw students sitting down and relaxing with a friendly dog. photo courtesy of the Mill Creek Middle School Wellness Day Committee
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