Independence Primary School holds inaugural ‘Mental Wellness Day’

Independence Primary School students learned to maintain positive mental health during the school’s first-ever “Mental Wellness Day” on April 8. 

Each grade level from kindergarten through fourth grade rotated through four stations led by school and city leaders, Independence High School students, and parent volunteers.

At the meditation station in the gym, certified yoga instructors taught students yoga. The sensory exploration/mindfulness station in several classrooms included coloring, soft lighting and peaceful music, led by the school district’s occupational therapist, Jessica Klonk.

Independence High School Health/Physical Education teacher Jessica Crooks, along with high school students, taught students about nutrition and healthy eating in the cafeteria. City of Independence staff members taught positive communication skills at the social wellness station.

In addition, retired school guidance counselor Mary Dolejs walked the school campus with her trained therapy dog, Ghost, throughout the day.

Third- and fourth-grade students also participated in equine therapy provided by Hope Meadows. This nonprofit provides equine assisted psychotherapy for children, adults and families.

Hope Meadows brought donkeys and miniature ponies to the school campus for students to meet while they learned about equine therapy and mindful grooming.

Independence Primary School Principal TJ Ebert said, “Our hope is that our students, coming out of this stressful pandemic, can celebrate having learned new strategies to take care of their emotional health, which is just as important as their physical health.” ∞