Tauraroa team tackles wellness project
Tauraroa Area School (TAS) has always had wellbeing prefects, students with a desire to support a well community and promote the importance of treating each other kindly.
This term, the school has taken it one step further and introduced a wellbeing team, Philippa Mannagh writes.
This school acknowledges that times are tough for young people. By recognising that there is joy to be found in all sorts of little things, lives can be changed, they say.
The TAS wellbeing team is made up of passionate students from Years 9 through to thirteen, who responded to the invitation to become members.
Their primary mission is to promote wellbeing in school.
“One of the best ways to understand a sense of balance in life is by being connected to something that offers us purpose and meaning,” says Anna Pascoe, guidance counsellor and teacher.
“Ultimately, we felt that we would better provide these awesome opportunities such as Wig Wednesday, the SADD programme, 40-hour famine if we operated as a team,” she says.
Team secretary, a Year 13 student, Rheanna Bettin joined the wellbeing team as a way to have a positive and lasting impact on her school and peers.
She says, “I think the wellbeing team is an important aspect of our school as it not only offers and creates opportunities for students to get involved in school, but it also shows different ways that they can positively enhance their well being.
“Wellbeing, to me, means that I am completely happy and positive in all states of my health, mental and emotional, physical, social and spiritual. And that’s why I think the wellbeing team is so important in our school as it teaches younger students, how to get involved in a positive way, be confident and have a self-assured wellbeing,” she says.
One of the many initiatives includes the random acts of kindness box (RAK).
This is an extension of a celebration that the staff room uses each week. They acknowledge the cool, kind and helpful things teachers do to support other staff. The RAK box is a student version of this.
“The students will acknowledge each other’s kindness, write the details on the RAK slip and put it into the box at the office. Then at assemblies, our Wellbeing prefects will ‘draw’ some random acts of kindness from the box and share these with the school, giving a crunchie bar to the kind person whose name has been drawn,” says Ms Pascoe.
The positive outcomes are already being seen.
Investment in the community, interest in raising voices on things that matter – national and global concerns – and giving these attention to educate and grow the awareness of the students.
“Some of our young people are so positively built up when they give back as volunteers to the breakfast club, or get into the spirit of Pink Shirt Day, or push themselves into a new challenge such as 40-hour famine,” Ms Pascoe says.
Principal, Grant Burns says, “Tauraroa Area School has a well-deserved reputation as a safe, caring and high performing school. I am proud to work in a school where staff and students are genuinely committed to contributing to an environment with the vision of being the best we can be”.