Stephenville High School has launched a program where students and teachers can take a time-out from their busy schedules to relax and rid themselves of stress.
The program is called Fun Monday and was put together by Principal Stephanie Traweek, Assistant Principal Rachel Carter and librarian Rachel Kammerer.
“We wanted to be able to give some time to the kids and let them have choices on some things they wanted to do beyond academics and tutoring,” Traweek said. “This just gives them some time to hang out with friends, work on homework and to be involved in clubs.”
Fun Monday is held during the school’s Action period every other Monday and includes activities like karaoke, ping pong, fantasy sports, arts and crafts, a book club and musical instruments.
“High school is very stressful and giving them those choices for alternatives to stress that are positive,” Carter said. “Introducing that during this time is crucial to their social development and well-being mentally.”
Teachers all over the school host the activities while others help manage the hallways.
“Sometimes the idea of allowing freedom for high schoolers is a little scary at times,” Traweek said. “But we have to provide them that opportunity because they’re going to have that freedom at some point and they need to be able to make good decisions.”
Fun Monday is coordinated by Kammerer who posts updated lists of the things students can be a part of.
“It’s just a little bit of time for them to have during the week to have some fun at school,” Kammerer said. “It’s a great concept.”
But the students aren’t the only ones having fun. Teachers also get involved in Fun Monday by participating in classroom activities.
“They jump in there and have fun and that’s good for the kids to see,” Carter said. “They can see how our teachers manage their stress by singing or doing something they enjoy and that makes them kind of a role model there.”
Though many students enjoy playing the games, playing music or engaging in any of the other activities, some just use the time to talk to one another.
“Our kids are so engulfed in socializing through social media, so this gives them an alternative where they are actually engaged in an activity with other people,” Carter said. “I think that’s something we’ve kind of lost a little bit with technology. Technology is wonderful in a lot of ways, but I think that is one area we’ve lost along the way and we’re just trying to bring that back into their lives so they can learn to function in a society that isn’t just on a screen.”