Following more than two very challenging school years for everyone in the education community, the Hainesport Education Association (HEA) in Burlington County planned a wellness day for its members. Knowing that educators needed a morale boost and the opportunity to recharge, HEA President Karen Kinter brought the idea for a wellness day to the HEA Executive Committee. They agreed and immediately set to work planning a program.
Set for the district professional development day on Feb. 22, the day began with a delicious breakfast followed by a meditation session directed by fifth grade teacher Adam Goldberg. Therapy dogs from a local rescue came to the school as well as masseuses from a wellness center in Moorestown, New Jersey. Moorestown-based comedian Dena Blizzard brought comic relief to the entire staff. Art teacher Trina Allen directed a watercolor class in the afternoon, and the gym was set up for basketball and volleyball games.
“It felt so good to forget about the stress and just laugh,” third grade teachers noted.
The professional development day was deemed a hit and recharged the staff of Hainesport School.
“Morale has been low,” said fifth grade teacher Jana Ellis. “We have been going above and beyond to do right by our students during the most difficult time, all while currently working under an expired contract.”
Hainesport School hopes to be the leaders in making a wellness professional development day routine part of every New Jersey district’s annual calendar.