Resilience project provides reprieve for students

Cooper Boardman, Opinions Editor

The Resilience Project, run by the guidance department in an effort to help students cope with stress, is back for its third year in the Staples community.

The project was first introduced two years ago by guidance counselors Deborah Slocum, Victoria Capozzi and Leslie Hammer.  They began by emailing parents and teachers in an effort to educate them on the different sources of stress with which students deal.

To spread their message, the Resilience Project has distributed Wrecker-themed stress balls in classrooms and handed out milk and cookies during midterms.  “We got a lot of great feedback,” Hammer said. “We wanted to give kids something comforting in a time where they might be stressed out.”

Along with those milk and cookies, students received slips of paper with “resilience messages,” which featured encouraging words of wisdom.

“The cookies and milk during the midterms got me through my next exam,”  Harrison King ’16 said. “Not only was it a tasty snack, but it kept me awake.”

Most recently, the counselors have entered freshman health classes, showcasing an app called “Stop Breathe and Think.”  The application’s website describes it as “a friendly, simple tool to guide people of all ages and backgrounds through meditations for mindfulness and compassion.”  This ties into the project’s goal: minimizing and ultimately eliminating stress.

“I like the app, and I believe it has the potential to help relieve Staples students of stress,” Alex Settos ’18, who worked with ‘Stop Breathe and Think” in his health class, said.

Students can expect more stress-relieving efforts in the future, some of which are currently awaiting approval from the administration.

“Adults in the community shape the environment students live in and I think we understand that we all have a role in some of the pressures students feel,” Hammer said.  “We all want the students to know we really do care about them.”