Newark schools help students deal with stress

February 16, 2018 by  

The Newark City School district recently held its first-ever Social and Emotional Awareness Day to help students learn to manage stress, as well as improving their communications skills.

Instead of tackling academic subjects, students spent the day exploring yoga, music and art therapy, and other methods of dealing with stress.

According to Doug Ute, Newark school superintendent, the skills they learned will help students deal with their feelings in stressful situations, because the techniques were positive. These included hunting for items belonging to their classmates, and working in teams using non-verbal communication techniques. At the end of the day, students took home folders of resources to share with their families.

Lynda Nabors, principal of John Clem Elementary, said exposing students to various types of activities allows them to figure out what is most effective for them. Nabors revealed that the goal for children in the lower grades was simply to understand when they are getting upset. They were given a scale ranging from happy to angry to help them identify the way they are feeling, and learned breathing exercises to help calm down.

Nabors said that it may seem extreme, but young people today are dealing with major stressors and need coping mechanisms as early as kindergarten.

Officials in situations like this might consider working with a poster printing company to create a series of posters that illustrate calming techniques.