Caroline County Public Schools has started a series of initiatives called Every Moment County to support wellbeing and mental health of youth, with two pilot programs launching in several schools.
Caroline County announced that it is now participating in Every Moment Counts (EMC) is a “mental health promotion initiative developed to help all children and youth become mentally healthy in order to succeed in school, at home and in the community.”
The county has launched several initiatives as part of the EMC program, including the Comfortable Cafeteria and Refreshing Recess programs.
Comfortable Cafeteria Program
Caroline established the Comfortable Cafeteria program in two elementary schools (Denton and Preston), with more to come before the end of the school year. A county press release explained the goals of this initiative:
Time spent in the cafeteria is an important part of the school day for students to enjoy their meal, take a break from classroom work and enjoy conversations with friends. When the cafeteria environment is pleasant, students eat more of their lunch, do better in their academic work, have fewer behavioral problems, and feel more connected to their school.
The purpose of this program is to create a positive cafeteria environment by providing the cafeteria staff and students with the necessary knowledge, skills, and resources needed to sustain a comfortable cafeteria throughout the school year. This helps all children participate and enjoy eating lunch and socializing with friends and adults.
Refreshing Recess Program
Refreshing Recess is another one of several model programs developed as a part of EMC, and will be launched soon at elementary schools in the county. According to the press release:
Time spent during recess is an important part of the school day for all students to take a break from classroom work, engage in active play, make friends, and have fun. When the recess environment promotes enjoyable participation, students return to their classrooms ready to learn, have fewer behavioral problems, and feel more connected to their school. Refreshing Recess provides the recess supervisors and students with the necessary knowledge, skills, and resources needed to sustain a positive recess environment. Specifically, Refreshing Recess was designed to support school personnel during recess and to give them strategies for fostering play and friendships, resolving conflicts, and promoting positive behavior.