Whole Child Month

  • Whole Child Month imageIn the month of January, we are celebrating the Whole Child. The Whole Child approach is an effort to transition from a focus on narrowly defined academic achievement to one that promotes the long-term development and success of all children in grades K-12. 

    What is the Whole Child approach?

    The Whole Child approach in education prepares students for career and college and as positive, contributing community members. A Whole Child approach aims to ensure each child, in each school, in each community, is healthy, safe, engaged, supported and challenged. School staff support the health and wellbeing of each child by:

    • Promoting an environment that is physically and emotionally safe for students and adults. 
    • Using best practices to actively engage students in learning.
    • Providing support for students’ academic, social and emotional learning.
    • Challenging students academically to prepare for their success beyond high school. 

    How can parents/guardians embrace this approach? 

    You can help your child’s development beyond academics. For example, you can help them develop a variety of skills essential in life, including the ability to solve problems and how to use coping strategies when they face challenges. The following activities can help  families to increase their child's social, emotional and character development. The weekly challenge is to complete an activity for that week. All activities can be adapted to meet the age of your child. 

    Weekly Whole Child Challenge Activities

    Week 1: 

    • What is something interesting that happened this week? 
    • Describe a situation or an act of kindness that you saw at school, friends, home, in the store etc.  
    • Create a gratitude jar that allows every member of the family to write one thing on a paper they are grateful for each day. At the end of the week, take all the notes out of the jar and read together. 

    Week 2: 

    • Make time to build a positive relationship: Ask your child or youth about interests at school or in the community. 
    • Give a compliment to your child or youth about something that is important to them. 
    • Encourage them to share a positive compliment with another peer at school or from an outside activity.

    Week 3: 

    • Ask: What would you like to do to make the world a better place (For example, in school, the home, or the larger community). 
    • Practice moments of mindfulness by silently focusing and being aware of the sights and sounds surrounding you. Then share what you and your child saw or heard.  
    • Practice Self-Management Skills: Learn to control breathing to calm our bodies and minds. Take a slow breath in for the count of three (1,2,3) and breathe out for the count of three (1, 2, 3). Repeat this practice 6 times. 

    Week 4: 

    • Make a plan for the week that involves cooking a nutritious meal or taking a nature walk together. Let your child or youth choose the type of meal or where they would like to go on a nature walk.
    • Describe a moment of AWE: What is something that made you feel joy today?
    • Identify 3 things you enjoy doing alone or with a family member to relieve stress.

    Mental Wellness is critical for parents and children. 

    Mental wellness is often overlooked, but is deemed critically essential in order for both children and adults to thrive in the school setting. SBLSD has seen a need to increase access to community-based mental health services for students in all grade levels and substance use services for students in middle and high school. These resources also offer additional support for the entire family. An intentional focus on social emotional learning can help to build and support a student’s positive mental wellness and enhance coping skills.

    For a whole month of daily activities, visit and download this January Whole Child Challenge Calendar.

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Whole Child Month Proclamation

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