COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Children’s Hospital Colorado, Colorado Springs hosting a health fair Saturday for students.
It’s the kick-off of a motivational program for kids the goal is to improve resiliency in students through one-on-one health coaching sessions.
Eagleview Middle School 6th graders and Monroe Elementary School 5th graders learning more about the pilot program where they will get health coaches in school this semester.
“I’m excited for the opportunity, I feel lucky that we have this partnership moving forward, I’m glad that [my daughter] Ava is going to be apart of this. I’m optimistic about what it can produce for us,” said John Ring, a middle school parent. “I think it starts a conversation for us as a family, for one, we think that’s kind of important. I think it can give us both some tools.”
The two schools in Colorado Springs coaching kids on their health.
The goal is to have early conversations with kids about social media, vaping, and body image.
A principal of one of the schools that’s part of the pilot program believes it will greatly benefit students.
“We’ve seen a marked increase of students accessing our counseling department and the needs of our counseling department often around resiliency and struggling to manage the highs and lows of middle school life,” said Jamie Lester, the Eagleview Middle School Principal. “The fear of missing out is something a lot of students feel, they call it FOMO, and it is very real for our students.”
President of the Children’s Hospital Colorado, Margaret Sabin, they say that fifth and sixth grade age is where kids need it most.
The lead health coach, Erin Heberlein, is part of the program that says a trusted adult there to just listen can make a big difference.
“[When I was young,] I would have loved for another adult to just listen to me and have their ear and be non-judgmental. That’s exactly what we are doing here, offering a non-judgemental sounding board for these kids,” said Erin Heberlein, Lead Health Coach.
Whether its thoughts of suicide, bullying or just feeling left out the program will make sure kids are equipped to tackle any challenge.
“The dangers of overutilization of social media. Getting so isolated that an incident on social media becomes a triggering incident to a child that could end up in tragedy,” said Sabin. “Our kids are going to encounter challenges, the question we need to ask as leaders, as parents as sisters, brothers, mothers, fathers, is there is a way that these kids can bounce back from predictable challenge?”
During the program the kids will meet with a health coach for about 30-45 minutes at first to build a rapport, then the meetings will be about 20-minutes sessions weekly hoping to help kids with any struggles they may have. Allowing them to talk freely to an adult that’s not their parents.
This program is fully funded through philanthropy.