health. moves. minds. at a High School Setting

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Learn how Bill Casey incorporated SHAPE America’s health.moves.minds. program into his high school and how it ended up being an experience for our students that will benefit them for the rest of their lives.

[0:02] How can you introduce a social-emotional learning program like health. moves. minds into a high school setting? I will show you how we adopted health. moves. minds into our high school which went beyond a standard fundraiser and turned into an experience that will benefit our students for their lifetime.

[0:36] The landscape of our schools regarding social-emotional learning as little as 10 to 20 years ago was something that many schools and communities were not quite ready to address.

[0:47] As educators, we have seen the emotional health of our students increasingly deteriorating.

[0:53] We can easily point fingers at what we think is causing this influx in emotional health struggles, but what we need to do is evolve our own programming so that students can meet these challenges with the skills we can teach them.

[1:06] We were fortunate to be a pilot school for the SHAPE America health. moves. minds. program at a high school level and we have run the program for two years.

[1:15] With our own county showing statistical results that at least 1/3 of our students were having some sort of emotional health struggle annually, we knew we had to do something.

[1:27] health. moves. minds. has a well-developed curriculum of lessons that any school can easily start out with or use to create their own programming.  This curriculum was a catalyst for us to develop ideas that would work in a high school setting.

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[1:42] Now instead of thinking of the curriculums topics of kindness, mindfulness, and empowerment as simply words to define.  Use these topics as skills to practice.

[1:53] As physical educators, we are all familiar with the importance of practicing skills in order to improve their use.  Well, the same could be said for these same curricular topics.

What did health. moves. minds. look like at my school?

[2:05] We did our program within a month’s time.  We started by defining the skills we wanted our students to practice which were kindness, mindfulness, empowerment, advocacy, and gratitude at the end of the month, we created a week-long event we called serenity week. During serenity week, the students practiced one of these specific skills each day.

[2:28] On Monday, they did a kindness challenge where they did an act of kindness, posted it to the social media platform of their choice, and then specifically called out others to complete the challenge

[2:40] On Tuesday, our students practiced mindfulness by looking at the amount of screen time they had on their phones daily and tried to get it as low as they possibly could for a day.

[2:52] Wednesday was a day our students practice empowerment by realizing how an attribute that makes them different could actually be empowering and they wrote it down on a hallway that was covered in butcher block paper.

[3:06] Thursday brought advocacy where we asked our students to use a shared flipgrid code to either offer a way they can help others or ask for help in their short video submission.

[3:18] Finally, Friday was our day of gratitude where students wrote on a paper leaf about someone and something that they were grateful for and thanked those people on the leaf and hung it on one of our trees of gratitude that we made within our gyms.

[3:32] These weeks became powerful events that even high school students cherished and left with the ability to use 5 skills that I think we all can agree need to be used more often.

[3:46] Over my 30 years of teaching, I have done many fundraisers and the benefit of all of them was…well…the funds that we raised.  With health.moves.minds, the fundraising took a backseat to the benefit we all witnessed of our students being stronger in their personal emotional health.

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