Crush Connects is a middle and high school program intended to enhance students’ connections to school, their peers, and community as well as improving classroom behavior and academic achievement. The Uplands hosted the program’s final gathering with the theme of “gratitude”. Students began their day with outdoor yoga, during which they connected to their breath and body through grounding and playful poses. Walton School’s art teacher led an activity in the art room in which students created “eyes” out of string, drawing from the traditional art of the Huichol, indigenous people of Mexico. These eyes symbolize protection and a good long life; a reminder to the kids that their fellow students are always there to watch out for, care for, and help each other.
Next was a gratitude circle in which students took grounding breaths and shared their thoughts about appreciation of their lives. The group then bundled up for a hike through the woods and out to the Vista Shed, where they took in the rolling hills surrounding their town. The program ended with students sharing what impacted them most from their day at The Uplands.
Thank you to the wonderful staff at Walton Central School District who make this social-emotional learning program possible!