By Camilla Gallagher P '24 '28
A wise man said long ago: "The part can never be well unless the whole is well." Those words, uttered by Greek philosopher Plato, rang true at the Academy as it dedicated five days to promoting wellness of the body, mind and soul. It began with Movement Monday, then flowed into Thirsty Tuesday, Wellness Wednesday, Thoughtful Thursday and Fantastic Friday. The students closed the week with a fun celebration that included music, dancing and an overall festive mood.
"Wellness Week at the Academy Campus showed our students many ways to promote and maintain happiness and health on a daily basis," said Juan Carlos Garcia, the originator of the Wellness Week campaign and one of the main advocates for wellness on campus. The students worked on wellness, he explained, "through plenty of physical activity; proper nutrition, hydration and sun protection; through coming together in communal activities such as Zumba and the Drum Circle; through taking a mindful moment break at the start of each day; and through maintaining a positive attitude through life-affirming messages from loved ones."
Wellness is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, and the degree of wellness in any one of those areas will influence the others. A call for wellness encourages being actively aware, in the present moment, of our current state and of the healthy choices and attitudes that lead to a more fulfilling and balanced life. The students learned that, in addition to actively taking care of oneself, wellness also involves being aware and respectful of our surroundings. Throughout the week, they were exposed to display about healthy choices, as well as a series of activities that sought to encourage them to be mindful of themselves, of the environment and of each other.
Joining the effort, parents also came together to make posters with messages celebrating kindness and gratitude, and displayed them all around campus for the students to peruse. Overall, the week was a great manifestation of Gulliver's commitment to nurturing student well-being, ensuring they are not only intellectually challenged, but also emotionally engaged and contributing to a positive school and community culture.
"The week before Thanksgiving Break was the perfect moment to step back and be grateful for our health and family! Garcia said. "Thank you to all those who came together – parents, faculty, students and Shari Mermelstein from Flik Dining Services – to make this such a wonderful experience for all!" He and the students are looking forward to new initiatives that inspire wellness going forward.