On Friday, May 12th, all Fenway students took a break from their regular classes and participated in Health and Wellness Day, organized by the Student Support Team. The day kicked off with guest speaker Eileen Ng, a former Fenway High School teacher, who spoke about her personal health struggles and the changes she made to fight back and overcome them. Afterwards, students broke up into small groups and engaged in a variety of wellness-related activities. Students took fitness classes taught by Health Works; learned Tai Chi, Reiki, and BollyX; tried a yoga class; discussed healthy sexual relationships with our Health Resource Center teachers; learned about healthy cooking and urban farming; received dental screenings and preventative dental treatments from Visiting Dental Hygiene Associates; and destressed with art workshops.
The day ended with a full-school assembly in which students shared reflections on the specific activities in which they participated. Melvin ’18 said the kickboxing class was a great stress-reliever, in addition to helping him build self-defense skills. Carrie ’19 said she was interested in learning more about urban farming: she reflected on her group’s discussion of food’s relationship to a community’s politics and economics. She pointed out that, in neighborhoods where many of our students live, Whole Foods is nonexistent, but the plethora of unhealthy options is overwhelming; she noted the need for more healthy grocery options in our local communities.
Chef Gates of Project Bread concluded the day with his speech on his journey in the culinary field: he started a culinary training program in high school at Madison Park, worked his way through the restaurant industry, and now has a private catering business, alongside his incredible work as a Project Bread chef. He encouraged students to think about their food choices and the resulting high energy and wellness they will feel from making healthy adaptations to their diets.
Thank you to the outside partners, as well as the Fenway faculty and staff, who made this day possible! As Mr. Brill said in his closing remarks, we hope that today will be a catalyst for positive change and healthy lifestyle choices.