Briarcliff Middle School Celebrates Wellness Day

Briarcliff Middle School can boast many special events, such as Ugly Sweater Day and the talent show, but it is safe to say that Wellness Day is easily one of the most anticipated events of the year by teachers and students alike.

A day dedicated to wellness – both physical and mental – Wellness Day offers workshops which provide a wide array of health-related activities and are facilitated by teachers, parent-volunteers and a few eighth-grade students.

Students recently began celebrating Wellness Day by making posters in their home base classes.

The kickoff to the day took place in the gym, where students and teachers played a charity basketball game against each other. It was a nail-biter, with both students and teachers bringing their A-game in relentless pursuit of winning. Teachers won 41:40, with a last-second dramatic three-pointer by science teacher Robert Iovino.

Maya, a seventh graders, enjoyed watching the game.

“It was entertaining and the room had a really great vibe,” she said. “I lost my voice from screaming so much.”

The game was in honor of Charity Water, a fundraiser which was sponsored by the school’s Greenhouse Club, and which raised over $1,500 to provide access to clean water to those in need.

During halftime, students participated in a relay race.

The day was dedicated to ELA teacher Mary Beth Craven, who is retiring this year. In honor of her famous adage, “Bloom where you are planted,” she was presented with a beautiful plant.

After the game, the students played a short game of basketball of their own after which students headed to their choice of wellness workshops.

There were many workshops to choose from:

Tennis, hiking, juggling, yoga, ultimate frisbee, gardening, kindness rocks, mindful coloring, sidewalk murals, mindfulness, friendship bracelets, leaf impression art, origami, jewelry making, collage making, beekeeping, Pilates, nature scavenger hunt, capstone projects, board games, vision boards, mural design, and music and entertainment, where students played board games and did coloring while listening to a playlist of their favorite happy songs.

“I liked the Pilates, it was fun to do it with my friends,” said Serena, a seventh grader.

There were some surprise visitors on Wellness Day.

Retired principal Susan Howard stopped by to say hello.

Retired special education teacher Mary Yulo returned to the school to teach students Beekeeping 101 and Advanced Beekeeping for students who had already seen her presentation during her visit several months ago and wanted to learn more about beekeeping.

“My favorite activity was the beekeeping workshop because it was interesting,” said Natalie, a seventh grader.

The day culminated in a thrilling performance by The Freestyle Connection – a trio of daredevil BMX bike riders who performed cool stunts.

“I liked having Wellness Day because it’s a day off from school,” said seventh grader Eli. “I also liked trying out the different activities in the workshops.”

Thank you to the PTA for sponsoring the BMX show and for providing healthy snacks for students to eat at various workshops, fruit-infused water stations throughout the school, and shirts and snack bags for the teachers.



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