Since January 2019, the Rite of Passage students have been determining and then implementing their Community Action Project. We began by having the students select the UDHR Articles that they felt reflected issues in their immediate community that they wanted to address. The students provided examples of situations related to these UDHR Articles. They then voted on the UDHR Articles they wanted to focus on and began discussing the situations associated with these Articles in more detail. The document shown via this link provides the stages of discussion that led the students to focus on addressing the high levels of stress and anxiety being experienced by themselves and their peers.
Guest speakers from the Arroyo High School Wellness Center, as well as from the Niroga Institute, an organization that trains educators to teach mindfulness, helped the students gain clarity about how they could take action to help themselves and their peers minimize the negative impacts of stress. Their first action was to help bring greater awareness across Arroyo High School about the presence of the Wellness Center as a major resource. As part of this, the students wanted to help get across the idea that going to the Wellness Center was a sign of healthy thinking, rather than feeling this was an indicator that there must be something wrong with seeking psychological support. The students designed a logo for the Resource Center, then created a flyer to advertise about a late March Open House. The students then created a flyer as well as a poster that can be posted around the campus to encourage use of the Wellness Center.
The students prepared a slide show along with a handout to provide information about what wellness is, what mindfulness means, and how to utilize tools and resources to manage challenges. On Thursday, May 9th, the students presented to about 250 10th graders across the Arroyo campus. The teachers from the classes provided positive feedback about the quality and effectiveness of the presentation!