I had the pleasure of being a part of the Philadelphia School District’s Mental Health Fair on May 26th. I was joined by fellow ISE instructor Jazman Dobson and we had a great time meeting with other local non profits and school district partners. The mental health fair was a welcome opportunity to connect with students, teachers, and community members.
Mindfulness Resources & the Lure of Stickers
Our table was bright and cheerful with a bold yellow tablecloth. Last summer I was part of the team that created posters, slides, and others resources we were now sharing at the fair. So gratifying to see an online design turn into colorful printed materials the community was all able to engage with, especially the Youth Wellness Resource Guide. This is a friendly and curated list of resources for youth including hotlines, shelters, abuse supports and local clubs to get involved in. If you want to check it out, you can download it for free HERE.
I have to admit though, the big draw was free stickers with affirmation messages. They were a huge hit with everyone at the fair and I hope the message reminds youth when they look at their phones, water bottles, or computer cases to keep being kind to themselves and others!
Practicing Stillness Together
Constitution High School took a field trip to the fair with over 150 students. Jazman and I got a chance to share VIBE with them. They were very sweet and curious about the app, and of course, the stickers.
The teachers and staff were interested in our Self-Care Toolkit for educators, a free resource with over 50 ways to incorporate self-care into a busy day. About 20 teachers downloaded it to help them for the next school year.
Cora Youth Services provide a summer program for middle and high schoolers who are looking to build friendships and have fun while staying safe from drugs and gun violence. They invited us out to teach some mindfulness tools at the Cora Youth Services’ Summer Program this July. I’m excited because I will get to introduce them to mindfulness and connect activities they already love to practices they may not have considered.
Often teens don’t realize that they already practice mindfulness through art, sports and intentional rest time. I’ll be able to help them connect the dots between mindful awareness and supportive self-strengthening orientations and the strengthening activities they already do and love.
Dr. Hite’s Commencement Speech
During the event we had the opportunity to witness Dr. Hite’s commencement speech and listen to community members thank him for his service to the School District over the past 10 years. There were so many heartfelt and personal stories of his kindness to the students and support of the community. It was a lovely way to close the Mental Health Fair festivities.
Overall the outreach opportunity was a huge success and we look forward to attending more community events!