School community reacts to first Wellness Wednesday

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Photo contributed by Meg Enquist ’23

For 30 minutes on Wellness Wednesday Nov. 23, students pet dogs, eat ice cream, play karaoke and more.

In recent years, with both the pandemic and day to day stressors combined, mental health has been a growing problem gaining priority. The question is: are schools doing enough?

On the half day – Wednesday Nov. 23 – before Thanksgiving break, Staples took the last 30 minutes of school for a wellness Wednesday. Last year, Staples had a total of two Wellness days. The high school brought in activities like a petting zoo and yard games.

More activities and additions have been added since last year. This year featured ice cream, a hypnotist, and the library hosted karaoke and games; all gave students the opportunity to relax and play with their friends before going off to break.

Molly Whittle ’25 cuddles with a furry friend from the petting zoo to relax during Wellness Wednesday. (Photo by Audrey Curtis ’25)

Co-librarian Jennifer Cirino welcomed these new additions and looked at the day as a success.

“In the library we had a lot of kids that sang karaoke, played games, I heard positive things,” Cirino said.

It was a nice break in the day and a good way to start the break.”

— Sophie Cochran '25

Some students felt the same and enjoyed the activities. Sophie Cochran ’25 attended the wellness day and had a positive experience.

Many students enjoy petting Murphy, a happy addition to their Wellness day.
(Photo by Audrey Curtis ’25)

“It was a nice break in the day and a good way to start the break,” Cochran said. “We should have more of them.”

Charlie Yim ’24, however, stayed after classes to attend and walked out feeling like it wasn’t worth it.

“It was underwhelming. It felt like there weren’t a whole lot of options,” Yim said.

Some students thought being picked up from school early or driving home was the better option. Lucy Barney ’25 based her attendance on her experiences from the previous year and chose to leave after the last period.

“I went last year and it was a lot of waiting in lines,” Barney said, “so I left this time.”