The Whole School Wellness Initiative at the Middlesex County Academy for Allied Health and Biomedical Sciences in Woodbridge will include monthly workshops beginning next month, and continue for the next two school years.
The Piscataway Campus of the Middlesex County Vocational and Technical Schools has received a grant similar to the pilot program funded by a $15,000 grant from the state Department of Health.
The Nov. 30 Woodbridge Academy kickoff event began with all 270 students gathered in the gym for an assembly. Master of ceremonies Eric Shandroff – a poet known as Myster E because he’s “a mystery” – was followed by Principal Terri Ann Sullivan announcing the snacks, according to information provided by the school.
Smaller group workshops included coloring, holiday crafts, meditation, yoga and aromatherapy.
Myster E led a session on creative expression, including poetry and rap.
“Rap is something you do; hip-hop is something you live,” he explained, according to the statement. “Rap is just one element of hip-hop.”
Carolyn Herbert led a workshop on biomedical drawing. She explained that anatomical drawing dates back to the Renaissance and Leonardo da Vinci.
“He connected science with nature and art,” she said in the statement.
The Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child Health Project hopes to combat chronic diseases such as diabetes and hypertension and help students understand the connection between health and academic achievement.
“The focus is on relieving the stress and anxiety of these students,” Dr. Tracey Maccia, MCVTS director of special education and the project director for the grant, said in the statement. “That’s why we concentrated on mindfulness, meditation, yoga. The research says these activities increase academic achievement.”
For more information, visit mcvts.net.