AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - Wheeler I.S.D. is partnering with Texas A&M AgriLife Extension to bring mental health awareness to their school.
They’re starting with their fifth graders, giving them tools to help reduce stress and anxiety.
“Giving youth the tools they need to help them maybe overcome those or the skills they can apply to maybe keep things from spiraling out of control,” said Wendy Hazzard, county agent for Texas A&M AgriLife Extension.
Every Monday, Wendy Hazzard teaches these students how to deal with their stress by focusing their breathing, yoga, and how to communicate and identify their feelings.
“Hoping that this curriculum can not only just help them in the classroom but also outside of it and just help them know, regardless of their age stress is among us, but we can come up with beneficial tactics to just overcome any of the anxiety life brings us,” said Lacee Lee, fifth grade ELA and social studies teacher for Wheeler ISD.
One of the main issues these students face is having trouble sleeping; however, with these breathing techniques, students say they are sleeping better.
“A lot of the kids said they have trouble sleeping at night. Some are not getting more than anywhere from three to five hours of sleep at night, which we know all youth need eight to nine hours of sleep,” said Hazzard.
Lee, the teacher of the fifth grade, the class says she's already seen a difference in her students, and the feedback they share with her is just amazing.
“The visible difference I see with the students is just some of the techniques they’ve been taught so far. I’ve seen a few of them use it throughout only my class period. Or they are all very vocal about how they used it. So they’ll come up to me whenever they get to my classroom and say ‘Oh Ms. Lee I used this tactic that we learned with Ms. Hazzard,’ it’s just really such a positive experience to know that this is working not only in the classroom but outside,” said Lee.