Zundy Elementary creates wellness room to reduce stress

WICHITA FALLS, TX (KAUZ) - A Wichita Falls ISD elementary school will soon have a gym for all of its staff.

Stacey Darnall, Zundy Elementary Principal, said this idea came after they took a community wellness survey.

Alex Alejandro, ESL bilingual pull-out teacher, said just like any other teacher he wanted to help change the world, although the work can be an overload.

"It can be very stressful," Alejandro said. "You have grades that you have to deal with and tutoring and all the extra stuff outside of school."

Zundy Elementary participated in a statewide study from the Public Health Department.

This study uncovered three areas of need. Two areas were more access to health care clinics and better child nutrition.

However, their top need was staff wellness focusing on stress reduction.

"That was the area I visited with William Carter from the Public Health Department," Darnall said. "We looked at ways that we can possibly target through this staff wellness program here at Zundy."

They decided to re-open the school's weight room to make it a wellness room for their staff. Their weight room has not been used since Zundy was a Jr. High.

"This was really designed to find a way to help staff to really reduce stress," Darnall said. "Stress can bring very complicated health issues."

Planet Fitness also decided to be a part by donating five treadmills.

Casandra Cook, Instructional coach, said she already has a gym membership but having this program at school could possibly save her some cash.

"It's very convenient. It's right here and I can change at school and come up here whenever I need to," Cook said.

Zundy's wellness room is expected to be ready after Thanksgiving and the staff will be able to use it before, during, and after school.

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