Last spring, our Board had an exercise to identify 1-, 3- and 5-year goals for our organization. One of the 1-year goals that rose to the top time and time again was to improve student and staff wellness, which is also a primary goal of Los Alamos Public Schools district-wide. We got to work right away meeting with LAPS Healthy Schools Director Kristine Coblentz to identify ways in which the we could help.

While LAPS already has a number of successful initiatives to promote student and staff well-being, we were able to identify three concrete ways in which we could leverage our resources to augment the district’s programs and have a true impact on wellness in the 2019-20 school year: 1) offer $5,000 worth of wellness grants to LAPS staff, 2) fund and help facilitate a community conversation about a topic of interest to parents, and 3) support and help to fund a student summit or other activity primarily focused on student wellness as defined by the students themselves.

The wellness grants launched this fall with much enthusiasm from school staff. We decided that the Foundation would make $300 available to each school each semester this year to fund initiatives that promote physical fitness, mindfulness/stress management, morale, creativity or other types of wellness. The spirit of the grants is to promote a positive school culture, bring staff and/or students together, break down barriers, and build resiliency and/or connectedness. They can support students, staff, or both. Schools must apply with their specific ideas each semester. Click here for more information and the application.

We will be sponsoring the community conversation on the evening of Monday, November 18. It is one of three such events put on by LAPS this year. The topic of the November event will be Community Conversation: Strengthening Connection, and the conversation will be centered around the concepts from Dr. Laura Markham’s book Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids. Dinner will be served, and it will be a great opportunity for parents to learn, discuss and meet other parents. Details and registration will be available soon. Please contact us if you would like us to email you with more information.

The third program is still in the very early stages of planning, so more information will be forthcoming as it becomes available.

Our entire Board is excited about this partnership with LAPS and these ideas for improving student and staff wellness. In today’s fast-paced world, I think we can all agree that sometimes we need to find ways to find ways to connect with those around us for a collective well-being!