At MS54, we commit to caring for our physical, mental, and social health and well-being as an essential part of education. The Wellness Committee (formerly known as the School Wellness Council), founded by the School Leadership Team in 2015, invites the entire school community -- administrators, teachers, support staff, students, and parents/guardians -- to develop Wellness initiatives that become part of the way of life at our school. Our mission is to listen carefully and inclusively to our community's Wellness needs and to respond in meaningful ways. The pandemic has affected each of us differently, so we are paying close attention to people's shifting priorities.
Find out more about our previous work in our Archive and daily tips on our Facebook page, The Well at 54.
The NYCDOE Office of School Wellness Programs newsletter also provides a wealth of information for students and parents.
MS54's Mental Health Resource Guide
MS54's counseling team has provided a mental health resource guide to clarify families' first points of contacts within the school, as well as listing free and low-cost mental health resources in the community, mental health resources for families of color, and a list of recommended books and podcasts to engage families and children around mental health issues.
Mental Health Resources for the Latinx Community
The NYCDOE Family and Community Wellness Collective suggests the National Hispanic and Latino Mental Health Technology Transfer Center. The mission of the National Hispanic and Latino MHTTC is to provide high-quality training and technical assistance to improve the capacity of the workforce serving the Hispanic and Latino communities in prevention, treatment and recovery for behavioral health.
The Child Mind Institute
Brief videos to help children manage intense emotions. These videos can help kids learn to handle intense emotions without giving in to the urge to act in impulsive ways that can make problems bigger.
CMI's Annual Mental Health Awareness Campaign, featuring video messages from celebrity participants who share simple and meaningful advice to encourage children who are struggling to seek help.
Alison Gardy, Parent Chair and SLT Liaison
Wellness Committee Workshop: Dr. Elster's Making the Most of Summer 2022!
June 13, 2022 @ 7pm
This final Wellness Workshop of the year is NOT to be missed: Dr. Elster will share her observations and wisdom about how to help our children have a healthy, happy summer that sets them up for academic—and life—success in the Fall. And, as structure is a vital part of Wellness, it will also help us to resist that "summer slide." Here's to making Summer 2022 one like no other!
Wellness Committee Workshop: EFT Tapping 101 for Parents and Teachers
April 13, 2022 @ 7pm
You've heard about EFT, now come learn how to do it!
MS54 Launches a Mindfulness Movement
We are excited to share the launch of our Mindfulness Movement at MS54. Since Fall 2021, in response to the growing mental health concerns in adults and children alike, MS54 parent alum and Clinical Psychologist Dr. Vijayeta Sinh has been creating weekly Mindful Minute videos for Booker T. students, staff and faculty. Many teachers have shared these videos in their homerooms to help students center and focus at the beginning of the day.
Every Wednesday, we will be featuring a new video on our MS54 Wellness YouTube Channel, where you can go and try a new mindfulness technique. Share them with your children, partners, neighbors, coworkers. It takes very little time to feel more grounded and it can make a BIG positive difference in your day.
¡A caminar en el aire fresco!
Saboreando la vida -- el camino hacia el bienestar
el 6 de marzo a las 15:00
Punto de reunion: en frente del jardín comunitario localizado en el Paseo de Riverside Park.
Siempre tienes prisa? Demasiados quehaceres? Hablemos de cómo saborear la vida mientras caminamos en el aire fresco del Parque Riverside.
Como llegar: Entra al parque donde la calle West 91st Street cruza con Riverside Drive. Camina más o menos 100 metros, baja la colina, pasa el playground, y sube al jardín en el Paseo.
Wellness Committee Meeting & Tribute to Ms. Trout
March 2, 2022 @ 7pm
In response to Ms. Trout's death, the space will be open for anyone who would like to talk and share. The family requests a donation be made to the MS54 Annual Appeal in lieu of flowers.
Wellness Committee Workshop with Dr. Vijayeta Sinh
What Does a Growth Mindset Look Like in a Pandemic?
February 9, 2022 @ 8pm
She's back! Our very own parent alum psychotherapist Dr. Vijayeta Sinh will help us understand how to achieve a "growth mindset," even during a pandemic. She will also speak to social anxiety and acting-out behavior in school.
January's Wellness Committee Meeting with Dr. Terri Bacow
January 12, 2022 @ 8pm
CBT expert Dr. Terri Bacow, psychotherapist and author of Goodbye Anxiety: A Guided Journal for Overcoming Worry, shared practical coping skills that can be used whenever you feel anxious. Drawing from her just-released book, she explained how to identify anxiety triggers, change unhelpful thinking patterns and develop healthy mental habits such as self-compassion.
December's Wellness Committee Meeting: Healthy Kitchen Hacks for the (Middle School) Family
December 8, 2021 @ 8pm
Fundamentally rooted in the concept that a healthy life begins with a healthy kitchen, Dr. Dara Huang will demonstrate that simple kitchen skills and adopting a choice mindset are the only ingredients for creating a healthy and more joyful cooking space for the whole family.
MS54 PTA Holiday Gift Drive
November 24 - December 8, 2021
Thank you to everyone who bought a gift from our Amazon Wish List for MS54 families in need this holiday season!
Wellness Meeting: Workshop with Dr. Vijayeta Sinh
November 10, 2021 @ 8pm
Too often we think we don't have the time or money to take care of ourselves. But if our own energy is depleted, how can we show up for our children? Psychologist and Booker T. parent alum Dr. Sinh showed us that self-care does not have to depend on time or money, but can be as easy as committing to a few simple strategies.
Family Healing Ambassadors Presentation Panel: How Can We Help Our Children Take Care of Themselves Socially, Emotionally and Physically?
November 3, 2021 @ 8am
Join MS54 panelists Social Worker Nicole Miller, Physical Education Instructor Frank DiPasquale, Parent Coordinator Anne McIntosh Pejovich, and Family Healing Ambassador and Wellness Lead Alison Gardy to discuss a topic of importance to all of us.
"Everything But the Turkey" Thanksgiving Food Drive
October 14 - November 17, 2021
Thank you to everyone who contributed to our special food drive! We appreciate MS54's families generosity in helping our families in need.
Weekend Wellness Walks
Fresh air, exercise, community! Join Family Healing Ambassador and Wellness Lead Alison Gardy one Sunday of every month during Daylight Savings Time for a walk in the park. Let's wellness-walk our way through winter into the start of spring!
All start at 3pm @ Community Garden on the Riverside Park Promenade, West 91st Street and Riverside Drive entrance (*exceptions).
54 Watch Party: The Social Dilemma
Thursday, September 23, 2021 @ 8:15pm
The Wellness Committee held a Zoom viewing party for fellow Booker T. families interested in exploring the addictiveness of social media. Heads-up: It's rated PG-13, and may cause a serious discussion. Make sure to bring popcorn! For more info, contact email@example.com.
MS54 Backpack and Supplies Drive
Thank you to the Booker T. community for giving students the tools for a successful path in the coming year by purchasing an entire backpack of supplies! If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to Parent Coordinator Anne McIntosh Pejovich.
Wellness Workshop with Dr. Vijayeta Sinh
September 2, 2021 @ 7:30pm
She's back! MS54 parent alum Dr. Vijayeta Sinh will share her insights with parents on resilience, reducing anxiety and re-evaluating what wellness and success mean in light of the pandemic.