Students, parents and guardians, faculty and staff practice self-care throughout the week.
A welcome calm settled over Crossroads’ campuses March 14-18 as the School kicked off its first-ever K-12 Stress Less Week. From Monday to Friday, students, parents and guardians, faculty and staff engaged in an array of activities designed to encourage wellness and provide opportunities for connection. After a prolonged period of coping with ongoing global crises, the stress-free programming rejuvenated the community, offering a much-needed sense of healing.
“Inflection points of stress are not only healthy but necessary components of growth and learning. However, stress takes a negative turn when it doesn’t fade,” noted Head of Upper School Anthony Locke ’01, who helped launch the K-12 initiative. “The pandemic, layered with our nation’s reckoning with systems of inequity, has many of us functioning from a state of chronic stress.”
In an effort to reset, Upper Schoolers enjoyed a later start time and no homework. During breaks, they participated in art therapy; practiced meditation; immersed themselves in sound baths; tumbled in a bounce house; and partied with puppies.
“I got to connect with my friends and get to know people more during the activities,” said ninth grader Avery Greenburg, who took part in art therapy and the puppy party. “It was easier to focus in class because it wasn’t so stressful.”
“The art therapy was surprising. I didn’t know how it would turn out, and I liked it,” added Avery’s classmate Kai Martin. “I liked the atmosphere.”
This blissful atmosphere permeated across both campuses. Middle Schoolers, who also had a homework-free week, started each day with a short meditation. During snack and lunch, calming music played in the Alley, where students colored and made friendship bracelets. Elementary Schoolers also appreciated the relaxing benefits of art making. On Wednesday, students and faculty in all three divisions donned their coziest clothes for Pajama Day, while an all-out dance party energized Crossroads’ youngest learners plus a few visiting Upper Schoolers, too.
Adults likewise delighted in opportunities to de-stress. Parents and guardians participated in a ceramics class, Councils and line dancing with Associate Head of School Mariama Richards, among other offerings. Faculty and staff indulged in back massages, sound baths and beach volleyball.
Eighth grader Sofia Morovati raved, “This has been the best week ever. … A load has been lifted off my shoulders.” Judging by the smiles on their faces at the end of the week, the entire Crossroads’ community appeared to agree.