A new wellness center has opened in the Ceres High School library, giving students a safe and comfortable place to drop in if they need support with emotional, social, or physical concerns, or just to take a break and access healthy snacks, music, games and art supplies.
CUSD Student Services Coordinator Edith Narayan came up with the idea after seeing similar centers in high schools she visited. Narayan pitched the concept to CHS Learning Director Maribel Flores who, with the site’s team of student support specialists, developed a proposal for Principal Rita Menezes who embraced it.
With remodeling of the school library underway, the timing was right to allocate space for the wellness center, which opened on Jan. 13. The response from students has been overwhelmingly positive.
“I love it!” said sophomore Evelyn Nevarez. “It is a great way to relax your mind and disconnect from your phone.”
Jelaine Esguerra, a senior, said the center has helped her “destress from all the work from my classes and clubs. It was a free, quiet space where I could relax and recharge.”
Sophomore Edith Marroquin commented that the center is “super thoughtful and fun.”
Student support specialists are available before and after school and during lunch to answer questions and offer strategies that help students manage their emotions and increase their resiliency and overall wellbeing.
“Students have access to a wide range of coping skills to support self-regulation and relaxation,” explained specialist Edimayri Jimenez. “There is a resource wall (with) brochures on social and emotional topics and community resources.”
The wellness center will evolve to meet students’ needs, adding weekly activities and guest speakers who will present on topics relating to mental health, for example.
For now, students simply enjoy the calming environment where they can sink into comfy couches and put their cares asides, even for a few moments.
“I haven’t gone to the wellness center yet,” says senior Monserrat Piceno, “but I think it is a great addition to our library/campus.”