Head Start Families Learn About Emotional Health This Month
Our CAO Head Start program sponsored a month-long agenda in May, filled with activities for children, families, and staff, to support a focus on emotional wellness. The Disabilities/Mental Health team has focused over the past three years to bring a strong understanding to families and staff of the impact of trauma exposure and how emotional wellness supports resilience. Self-care was a major theme in this month’s activities as we stress that an emotionally healthy community is created by emotionally healthy individuals.
During the month, Head Start children participated in story time which emphasized feelings, created stress balls and feelings plates which help to identify feelings and teaches a way to handle those feelings, and planted flowers to learn how to care for others and explore how gardening made them feel. They also used mindfulness and yoga as part of their daily activities.
Staff and parents had the opportunity to explore several different ways in which to reduce stress and focus on their own emotional wellness. Each week during the month we began with Motivational Mondays, which brought some insights and supports as food for thought for the week. Included was at-home hand massage; journaling; creating journal jars; meditations for Anxiety, Self-love, Stress, Healing, and Anger; and daily meditations. Our Fridays included mindfulness walks at Delaware Park, the Outer Harbor, Scoby Dam, and the Botanical Gardens.
Staff and parents also had the opportunity to tie in physical wellness with emotional wellness through some super fun sessions with Yoga, Zumba, and Kickboxing. We learned about nutritional wellness with some great healthy cooking ideas with our “magic chef” cooking sessions. Rounding out the month, parents and staff enjoyed two great and relaxing paint party classes. A wonderful experience had by all!