South Orangetown Central School District

Each year, English students host a Wellness Fair to present research they’ve conducted on topics of interest. “Self-care has come up a lot this year,” said English/ENL teacher Dana Stranges. “Whether it’s students feeling sleepy or running to the vending machines to get something that might not be so healthy to eat. A lot of my students work really long hours outside of school, so they’re interested in how to create more balance in order to reach their full potentials. The knowledge and strategies learned throughout this unit can be taken with them after they graduate.”

“I wanted to help people get mastery of themselves through self-discipline,” explained Jose M., a senior, who studies techniques for goal-setting and personal growth. “Studies say that people with self-discipline are happier, and self-discipline is easier to develop in childhood than as you get older.”

“I researched healthy morning routines, like the benefits of proper hydration, a healthy breakfast, walking and sleep,” said senior Irma R. “I had a routine before this project because I have to be ready to learn when I come to school.”

Tea is a passion for senior Daysi V., who plans to study chemistry at Rockland Community College before transferring to a pre-med program at a four-year university. “Tea has a lot of health benefits, and there are differences between the effects of ‘real’ tea and herbal infusion teas,” she noted.

“Self-love is something that people think they have, but if they are self-harming or allowing others to hurt them, they don’t,” said senior Floridalma D. She was motivated to study this topic by people close to her who are struggling. “Perfectionism is the worst thing for you. You don’t need to be perfect to be worthy of love.”

Feeling stressed is something many students identify with, said junior Milagro G., who focused her research on stress reduction techniques. “Hiking and yoga can help clear your mind, but music and laughter are my favorites,” she said.

Library Media Specialist Lois Parker-Hennion worked closely with students for this project. “The students were able to explore areas of wellness for the fair and a few groups of students helped to design the new wellness space in the library. As of now the new space has bean bag chairs, artwork, a fountain, a new floor lamp, yoga mats, and meditation cushions,” she reported. Ms. Parker-Hennion, a certified yoga instructor, even taught a few yoga poses to attendees at Milagro’s stress reduction table!

More photos on Facebook.

Male student with research poster