For the last several years Chapin Street School Nurse, Mrs. Beth Parent, begins the school year by visiting each of the 2nd and 3rd grade classrooms to educate students about the importance of making healthy lifestyle choices; her first wisdom wellness lesson. She finds that these lessons, which continue throughout the school year with different themes, are a great way for the students to see her role as reaching beyond the walls of the health office, and more importantly as an avenue for her to make personal connections with students.
This year, due to a March of 2016 policy passed by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (Chapter 52 of the Acts of 2016) that requires all public schools to educate their students about the dangers of substance abuse, she has also incorporated this message into her initial wisdom wellness lesson. Parent explained, “This policy was easily incorporated into my existing lesson as it definitely piggybacks on the importance of living a healthy lifestyle.”
“I talked to students about the difference between needing medication for wellness and health and, how, when you don’t take medication in the right way it can negatively affect your mind and body,” explained Parent.
Following the lesson Parent asked students to take the pinky promise pledge to live a healthy lifestyle and to stay away from drugs, alcohol and tobacco. Students also completed a Say “No” to Drugs worksheet that encouraged them to write down two things they would say if someone asked them to take drugs. Students returned the completed worksheet to Parent, who then proudly displayed each of them in the health office.
“Nurse Beth does an amazing job connecting with students during her wellness wisdom lessons. I am very thankful for her efforts throughout the school year in educating our students about various important and timely health topics, such as substance abuse,” shared Chapin Street School Principal, Mrs. Nikki Reed. “We are lucky to have her!”
Nurse Beth with 2nd grade student Mackenna displaying her Say "No" to Drugs worksheet.