Wellness Day Eases End-of-Semester Stress


Freshman Lily Rasser and Maria Taha unleash their creativity during the diamond painting session Photo: Janelle Kwiatia

West Po’s first-ever Wellness Day on January 25 consisted of 4 sessions that students–and teachers–could choose from seems a resounding success. Sessions included everything from basketball to art journaling, tie-dye to yoga, sessions about mental and physical health, making sushi, knitting, bird-watching and many others.

Many of the teachers were excited for Wellness Day. “Art journaling has always been one of my favorite things to do. In high school, in my notes I would always doodle on them,” Spanish teach Sra. Rodriguez, who was responsible for the art journaling session, said.

Another teacher, Ms. Carfang, who was responsible for the Hot Cocoa and Chill session, discussed her struggles with mental health over the years, “When I heard that I could do anything for Wellness Day, I knew what I wanted to do.” Hot Cocoa and Chill was an option available during all 4 sessions.

There were also more leisurely sessions offered for students, like Mario Kart Mayhem, a very popular choice among freshman and sophomores. In this session, students could play Mario Kart on Mr. Popeck’s Nintendo Switch with up to four people. They could choose to play other multi-player games like Super Smash Bros Ultimate. “Mario Kart was great; The teacher was really fun and the system was good,” freshman Bryan Cruz said.

Another popular session was Sushi Making, where you were taught how to make sushi and could eat it at the end. This activity, available during the first 2 sessions, was hosted by Ms. Kelly and Ms. Hutchings. Many of the students who made the sushi said it tasted good.

“I think it’s a good use of a day where we wouldn’t be doing anything else anyways. It was a good decision by the administration to make this thing possible,” freshman James Schwartzman said.

Some students chose not to participate in the school wellness day. Jennifer Zhang, senior, said she went
“shopping…because she wanted to spend money.” Another senior, Ella DeBerry, stayed home because she wanted to sleep.

Schwartzman also attended the Student Venting Session, offered by English teacher Mr. Hill, “I signed up for it because I wanted to vent about the closed campus which was just instituted.”

“I feel like students and teachers are going to get as much out of it as they put into it,” biology teacher Ms. Pendleton said. “If you are a student who didn’t sign up for anything or chose not to participate, it’s clearly not going to be as enriching as if you had signed up for the things you were interested in.”