Student Led Wellness at the American Nicaraguan School
By Brianne Sheets, Big Questions Day Coordinator
At the American Nicaraguan School, teacher-led wellness activities are designed to peak student’s curiosity, ignite creativity and foster positive relationships. Each trimester, teachers choose to lead an activity of their choice and students sign up by filling out a survey based on interest and ownership. Activities range from art, team building games, positive interactions and anywhere in between. This initiative was so successful that we wondered what would happen if we let a much stronger group take the task to a higher level; that’s when we handed this challenge to a more creative, innovative group of people…the students!
During second and third trimesters, 4th and 5th grade students were invited to apply to be wellness leads. They were encouraged to propose leading an activity that is an integral part of their personal wellness journey, as well as one they think could promote wellness in their classmates. In addition, students were asked to reflect on their leadership qualities and describe why they feel ready to take on the challenge. The applications poured in and the diversity of the activities was inspiring!
Once chosen, student leads were paired with a mentor teacher with the goal of supporting them in their planning, reflection and implementation of their activity. With many bumps along the way students have learned about the intricacies of leading. We are proud that students have initiated and courageously led their peers and positively impacted our school community through: origami, writing comics, crafting, playground champions, drawing, yoga, preschool powerful interactions, 1st grade reading buddies, friendship bracelets, and clay creations! When students are empowered to lead at such a young age, lifting their voices and making their ideas a reality, the outcome is breathtaking.