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Bag of bliss for Travis ECHS students, staff

Calming kits webThe start of a new school year can be stressful. It can be particularly stressful when the school year begins during a pandemic. But Travis Early College High School counselors Jovita Ratnayeke and Kamilah Antoine have come up with a unique way to help their students deal with the added stressors of the 2020-2021 school year by distributing “calming kits” to Travis students and staff members.

“Given the stressful times that students are currently experiencing, the activities provided in the calming kits can help students feel less overwhelmed by the situations faced on a daily basis, such as social distancing, feeling isolated or experiencing overwhelming fear for their health or the health of their family members,” said Adrianna Arredondo, principal at Travis. “It’s important to everyone’s individual stress level and happiness that we have at least one activity that we do regularly just for fun.”

These kits include a journal, mini-cube puzzle, Play-Doh, stress ball, mandalas and crayons.

“Whether it be writing in a journal, using Play-Doh, or coloring, these activities allow students and adults to ‘blow off steam.’ Students will be able to better handle the responsibilities that they must take care of at school and at home,” said Arredondo. “These activities can change attitudes toward life’s stressors so that students are less reactive to stress when they experience it.” 

The kits were the brainchild of Kamilah Antoine, one of the two a counselors at Travis.

“We recognize that remote learning, whether you are on campus or at home, is really, really stressful,” Antoine said. “Students are stressed, their parents are probably stressed. Everybody is going through something really difficult right now and we want to help them by giving them this bag with tips and tools to help them relax.”

Antoine and fellow Travis counselor Jovita Ratnayeke were on-hand to give the bags of bliss to their students in a drive-through event last week. 

“We are encouraging staff and students to appropriately use the contents to reduce tension and stress,” said Arredondo. “Although the items in the kits may seem simple and even a little juvenile, when used to appropriately de-stress, they are proven beneficial.” 

student piackup


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