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The Power of “We:” WMS Wins!

beth-circle-head Beth Heller

In October, Live54218 will be debuting our new name and expanded vision at a fun community kick-off event in the Titletown District.  In preparation for this exciting reveal, we’re using the coming weeks to spotlight some of the wins that have result from recent community collaborations with the goal of highlighting the power of “we” that inspires our work!  

Check out these photos of the new restorative space at Washington Middle School (WMS).  This space, which is proudly still a work in progress, demonstrates how a project that might feel overwhelming or impossible for one group becomes a success when efforts are combined.

Thanks to fundraising and decorating efforts of a group from Leadership Green Bay, WMS staff were able to transform a regular classroom into a space that feels very different from other rooms in the school.  Serene and inviting, the room sets a new tone for the school year.

The room was designed with input from other community partners with restorative spaces, including the Boys and Girls Club, who introduced their Zen Den in 2017.  Live54218 provided backbone support for the program, working with teachers and administration, as well as district support staff to ensure that the capacity to use this sort of space effectively was in place.  

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“A cross between a yoga studio and a kids’ bedroom,” is how Associate Principal Molly O’Neill describes her vision for the mindful room which does not yet have a formal title (students and staff will have a hand in determining the final name).  True to this vision, the room is a place where students can feel safe, find calmness and learn to self-regulate in the midst of a typically hectic middle school environment. There are also tools, like stress balls and weighted blankets, that teach kids how to cultivate their own ability to relax and focus.

In addition to a physical space, the room will serve as a rally point for a new focus on self-care for both staff and students at Washington Middle School.  Last year, the Green Bay Area Public School District invested in a larger self-care campaign in schools, including a capacity-training program for student support staff and teachers that introduced practices from yoga and mindfulness.  This new room creates a physical space for more such gatherings, including Mindful Middle Schoolers and student groups. In addition, several teachers throughout the building will be creating calm spaces in their rooms where kids can practice mindfulness as-needed.  Over the course of the year, the staff of Washington Middle School will have a chance to experience different tools and techniques from Social Emotional Learning and mindfulness during staff professional development time.IMG_20180905_142008

With parent, teacher and school administration bandwidth filled to an all-time high, the sort of collaborative effort that went into the new mindful space at WMS is essential for the health and well-being of our schools.  So, with our heartfelt thanks to Leadership Green Bay, Boys and Girls Club of Greater Green Bay along with the staff at WMS and GBAPS, let’s enjoy a mindful moment of success.

Breathing in, we know that we are breathing in, breathing out, we smile.  Together we can help our community grow and thrive!

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