CLARKSVILLE — Clarksville Community Schools is preparing to launch a week of events focusing on healthy behaviors such as fitness, nutrition and mindfulness.
The school district’s inaugural Wellness Week will run the week of March 27-31 at Clarksville’s elementary, middle and high schools. There will be special events focused on health and well-being running each day Monday through Friday that week.
The upcoming week of events will feature interactive activities, field days and guest speakers.
Superintendent Tina Bennett said Clarksville Community Schools recently “recommitted to revamping” its districtwide wellness policy and wellness plan. At the start of the school year, the district launched a wellness committee.
“We reviewed our previous wellness policy and in essence updated it, added some activities and just recommitted to being more intentional about promoting and modeling wellness throughout our district,” Bennett said.
She notes that last summer district staff participated in “a kind of operation let’s get moving plan so that we wouldn’t be stuck behind our computers.”
Employees were encouraged to participate in daily activities ranging from aerobics to basketball. This served as a “springboard” to put the new wellness plan in place.
Various health initiatives have been ongoing throughout the year, and the upcoming Wellness Week meets the goal of a corporation-wide wellness activity. Each day will have a specific theme related to different aspects of wellness.
Matt Pait, assistant principal at Clarksville High School, said Wellness Week is “showing them the options that are out there to be a little bit healthier.”
“We’re just trying to show them what a healthy lifestyle looks like, and [what is] one thing they can do to be a little bit healthier, whether it’s a healthy snack or more physical activity or drinking water — just whatever it is for them individually.”
On “Mindful Monday,” students will learn about breathing techniques and participate in mindfulness activities. For elementary students, it will involve a school-wide breathing exercise. For middle and high school, the day will include coloring mandalas, practicing guided meditation and expressing gratitude in thank-you notes.
Healthy snacks are the focus of “Tasty Tuesday.” Elementary students will make their own snacks, and middle and high school students will eat healthy snacks while learning about portion control.
On “Water Wednesday,” students will learn about hydration, and each school will give out a limited amount of water bottles with the Clarksville Community Schools brand.
There will be several interactive programs to close out Wellness Week. “Fitness Thursday” will include field day activities for the elementary school, and Clarksville Fire Department will set up an obstacle course on the football field. For middle and high school students, programs will focus on the risks of vaping, substance use and alcohol abuse.
Quinton Higgins, a survivor of the deadly 1988 bus collision in Carrollton, Kentucky, will talk to high school students about the hazards of drunk driving. Annie Reiss, tobacco prevention coordinator for LifeSpring Health Systems, will talk to middle school students about vaping and tobacco prevention.
On “Fitness Friday,” the middle and high school students will participate in a field day with the obstacle course on the football field. The elementary students will learn about the mental benefits of exercise by participating in activities such as limbo, hula hoops and hopscotch.
The Clarksville Parks Department will provide music for both field day events.
Bennett said she wants students to understand the importance of mental, physical and social well-being in influencing other parts of their lives.
“Overall wellness is so critical,” she said. “It ties hand-in-hand with positive outcomes and education. The main takeaways will be for us to continue the education and the promotion of the social, along with the emotional, [along] with the physical, and how all three of those are tied together in order to promote overall wellness, which in turn will then be directly related to better educational outcomes.”