Developing a school-wide “culture of wellness” is the idea behind Skyline High School’s new SkyWell Initiative, which includes a student wellness club, a health metrics webinar, and a health information campaign.
The program is run by Skyline’s lead teacher, Jeff Bradley, as part of the school’s Health & Medicine Bio-Medical Sciences Magnet. Bradley earmarked his students’ capstone project for 2014-15 to focus on this wellness initiative.
Bradley said many of the magnet students are interested in careers in health science and medicine, so focusing on the wellness industry brings awareness to the field.
“They can go into the business side, the public health side or the medicine side for being well; for living a non toxic life; living a safer, healthier … life,” he said.
Addressing compelling public health issues of the 21st century is part of Skyline’s Health & Medicine Magnet focus, said Lori Kintz, a Skyline parent who is a consultant for MyNutratek in Brighton, which is sponsoring the program as a model that could be duplicated in other schools. That focus, said Kintz, includes issues affecting the teen population such as unhealthy weight, daily nutrition lacking whole foods, inadequate sleep and many more,
The new SkyWell Club of about 65 students meets monthly to discuss the eight dimensions of wellness and what students can do to improve their health.
Senior Sarika Taygi co-leads the SkyWell Club, which devotes each monthly meeting to a new discussion on wellness—whether that’s spiritual, social, financial, occupational, physical, environmental, intellectual, or emotional.
One of the discussions at the monthly SkyWell Club, for instance, centered on time management—and how students are rewarded for working long hours to get better grades, yet there is a crucial need to get adequate sleep.
Some of the students are taking a look at the nutritional value of the concessions Skyline sells at athletic events.
Taygi said it’s sometimes hard to get other students interested in these important topics.
“It’s easier when it’s student-to-student, because when it’s adult-to-student there’s not that same kind of connection,” she said. “But we understand each other so it’s easier for us to communicate that you really need to participate in improving your lives. We just try to get all these messages out there that these things are important, and we know what you’re going through, and this can help you live an easier life.”
The SkyWell Initiative recently received a $1000 subsidy from the Skyline PTSO to help support the student health awareness campaign and incentives for student participation for the remainder of the school year.
The SkyWell Club will sponsor its first Skyline Wellness Expo on Jan. 28 at the school during SkyTime and both lunch periods so that all students and teachers can participate.
More than 15 wellness-oriented community organizations have been invited to participate, and those students who register for the SkyWell/myNutratek wellness app will be entered into a drawing for a free one-month membership to Liberty Athletics Club, a donated prize.