‘Positive’ connections: Area students buddy up for mental health awareness | News, Sports, Jobs

 ‘Positive’ connections: Area students buddy up for mental health awareness | News, Sports, Jobs

The Times Observer photo of Brian Ferry Eisenhower student Jonathan Dunn placing a scavenger hunt item in a bag held by Mental Health Week high school buddy Camron Jakubczak on Friday during the culminating activities of Mental Health Week.

Students at Eisenhower Elementary and Middle High Schools teamed up for mental health on Friday.

Each elementary student spent the afternoon with a middle or high school student.

“This is the culmination of everything we’ve done this week – Mental Health Week,” Counselor Lori Hahn said. “We want kids to know that relationships are important to mental health.”

“We try to help kids build relationships,” Principal Ericka Alm. “It’s about positive relationships with peers and teachers.”

“For little kids, it’s about giving them someone they can look up to and make a connection with so that when they move into high school, they have a connection,” said Hahn.

Times Observer photo by Brian Ferry Eisenhower of fifth grader Haley Ferrie reaching for a ball Friday during the Hungry Hippos part of the culminating activities of Mental Health Week. Ferrie’s high school friend, Mackenzie Dunn, was in the back waiting for his turn to carry a ball.

Fourth grader Eva Slye spent the afternoon with ninth grader Cali Chapman. They hadn’t known each other before, but their friendship grew quickly. “He’s the best,” Slye said.

“Eva is the best,” Chapman said.

“This week has been very cool, relaxing,” he said. “I thank our teachers and administrators for giving us a week to refocus so we are ready for the end of the school year and our finals.”

Slye’s favorite day of Mental Health Week is “Definitely PJ Day,” he said.

“I’m excited,” said Hahn. “It’s been a good week.”

Friday afternoon, students exited three stations – kickball, scavenger hunt, and Hungry Hippos. High school kids have a cookout courtesy of Nutrition Inc., featuring hot dogs, hamburgers, even watermelon.

“Every day, they get mental health tips,” he said. “What to look for. What to know. Contact information for local organizations. ”

“It’s so beautiful,” Riley Wilson said.

“I will remember it,” With Wilson, Kris Bunk said.

In the Hungry Hippos event, Bunk mi- somersaulted as he reached the center of the circle to pick up a ball and again as he reached the hula hoop to drop the ball.

Why? “Just to get the kids all the hype, be active, lose their minds in class,” as he.

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