Healthier students are better learners. The DOE started Wellness Wednesdays NYC to help students and families learn skills and habits that can promote physical, mental, and emotional well-being. During challenging times, we can take steps to care for ourselves and for others every day. We can try to achieve modest goals to stay healthy, focused, and ready to learn, no matter where learning takes place.
Each Wellness Wednesday will focus on a different theme. Each week, you will find new activities and resources on this page to help you learn about key components of wellness, including:
- the importance of physical activity and good health
- how to care for your mental and emotional health
- how to communicate with fairness and respect
- how to build stronger relationships
We encourage students, parents, caregivers, and household members to do these activities alone or together to help support well-being. Give it your best. Stay active. Stay healthy.
We welcome your feedback and questions: Email DivisionOfSchoolClimateAndWellness@schools.nyc.gov
May 27, 2020: Movement Magic
Being physically active supports our physical, mental, and social-emotional health. Daily exercise and movement help our bodies stay healthy and can also help to improve our mood. This week, learn how to
- create a fitness goal
- use the space you have in order to improve your overall fitness level
- be mindful of your daily physical activity
Movement Your Way
- Wellness Wednesday NYC Physical Activity Goal Tracker: You can use this template and a completed sample to make your own tracker.
- Rising New York Road Runners: Active at Home: Physical literacy-based activities and games for students, families, and teachers to do at home. The activities in this free site are safe to practice under space constraints and social distancing guidelines.
- BOKS At Home Resources: Free physical activity curriculum and support for parents to make physical activity and play a part of every child’s day.
- CATCH Health at Home (free access through Google Classroom): Virtual physical education classes for students.
- GoNoodle: Good Energy at Home: Movement, yoga, and mindfulness videos and curricular activities.
- MTI World Beats: Produced by the NYCDOE and Hip-Hop Public Health, this collection of Hip Hop, R&B, Reggae, Bollywood, Lo-Fi, and Latin music will get your household dancing and moving. Free download!
- Hip Hop Public Health: H.Y.P.E. at Home: No gym, no problem! You don’t need any fancy equipment to dance. Listen to these dance breaks to encourage physical activity at home.
- Online Physical Education Network: Games, calendars, activity logs, and other resources for parents and teachers to encourage movement at home.
- Alliance for a Healthier Generation: Fitness Breaks: Short videos with soccer, basketball, and other exercises.
Workout of the Day
Gymnastics Workout with Wendy Hilliard!
Wendy Hilliard was the first African American rhythmic gymnast to represent the USA in international competition. Wendy competed in three world championships and coached Aliane Baquerot Wilson at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia. Today, she runs a foundation that provides free and low-cost gymnastics classes to kids in New York City and Detroit.
May 20, 2020: Nutrition and Food Security During Insecure Times
How can we make sure that we are able to access and eat wholesome meals? We need to eat a balanced diet of healthy foods so that our bodies get the nutrients they need to be healthy and strong. By eating healthfully and getting regular physical activity, we can prevent health problems like high blood pressure and diabetes. New York City has many services to help people access free meals and healthy food.
Eating a Nutritious Rainbow
Free meals and food access
- Free Meal Location Near You. Find free “Grab and Go” meals available for all New Yorkers. No ID, no one turned away, all welcome. Get three meals per person in one visit, Monday to Friday 7:30am to 1:30pm.
- Get Food NYC: Find free meal distribution sites with this interactive map.
- Food Bank for NYC: Search the map to find a soup kitchen, food pantry, senior center, or SNAP enrollment site near you.
- Hunger Free NYC: Find Neighborhood Guides to Food & Assistance, with information on free food access in all five boroughs. Users can learn how and where to access SNAP/Food Stamps, WIC, School and Summer Meals, senior meals, soup kitchens and food pantries, and farmer's markets that accept SNAP as payment.
- Coronavirus NYC Neighborhood Food Resource Guides: Download the guide for your neighborhood to find free food resources. There is a guide for each of NYC’s 59 community districts.
- NYC Food Delivery Assistance: Families who are unable to access food may qualify for free food delivery assistance. Click the link to find out if you are eligible, and request forms.
- New York City Greenmarkets: Most Greenmarkets are open. Use your EBT card and for every $5 you spend receive a $2 Health Buck to buy fruits and vegetables.
EBT and cash benefits
Online nutrition education and activities
Workout of the Day
Workout with the New York Yankees, Episode 2!
This week’s workout features Donovan Santas, Assistant Director of Player Health and Performance for the New York Yankees. Donovan shows us how to do a full body workout using your legs, arms, and core.
May 13, 2020: Keeping Your Family Healthy
Fight Germs: Wash Hands! When your child or another household member has a cold or cough, wash your hands frequently. Handwashing may be the most important act that you and your child can do to lower the risk of spreading infection to others. It is a key to disease prevention.
Handwashing Saves Lives
- 20 Seconds or More, produced by Hip Hop Public Health: A hand-washing video featuring legendary rapper Doug E. Fresh and well-known music artists, public health experts, athletes, entertainers, and families. Listen along and learn how to help stop the spread of COVID-19.
- CDC Handwashing Video : This 9-minute video aimed at children explains
- how germs spread
- why it is important to wash with soap
- the right way to wash your hands
- when it is important to wash your hands
- how to avoid getting colds and flu
- Hand Washing: Keeping Your Family Healthy: This flyer from the CDC is a resource for parents to help teach children about handwashing. Available in English, Spanish, and Haitian Creole. The linked page also has other fact sheets about keeping hands clean.
Workout of the Day
Workout with a US Rugby Player!
As part of Wellness Wednesday, we encourage you to find time to be physically active. Today’s workout features Phaidra Knight. Phaidra is a retired professional rugby player who was named US Rugby Player of the Decade in 2010. Since her retirement, Phaidra has enjoyed being a lawyer, media talent, business owner, and motivational speaker.
May 6, 2020: Healthy Minds
Learn how to better manage thoughts and cope with emotions in ways that are healthy. This week, reflect on how you currently feel. Talk about emotions and where we feel these emotions in our bodies. Learn a relaxation activity to feel calmer in your mind and body.
Where and How Do I Feel?
Workout of the Day
Workout with Eric Cressey of the New York Yankees
As part of Wellness Wednesday, we encourage you to find time to be physically active. This workout is with Eric Cressey, Director of Player Health and Performance for the New York Yankees. Eric’s job is to make sure the players are healthy and strong so that they can play their hardest for their fans.
April 29, 2020: Living with Wellness
Learn about the different areas of wellness in your life. This week, reflect on how you are feeling physically, mentally and emotionally, and socially. Make a commitment to one area of wellness that is meaningful to you.
Ready, Set, Wellness!
Workout of the Day
Jets Home Workouts with Justus Galac
As part of Wellness Wednesday, we encourage you to find time to be physically active. This workout is by the Head Strength and Conditioning Coach of the New York Jets football team.