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Guest Post: Wellness Matters

Tabitha Shelton has been East Coast Migrant Head Start Project’s Disability Services & Mental Health Manager since February 2018.  She earned a Master’s in Special Education at Arkansas Tech University. 

Last week, our Raleigh Headquarters hosted a weeklong training where Content Area Managers train Regional Level Specialists on service delivery manual updates and changes.  The participants included: Head Start Administrators, Director of Enrollment, Directors of Program Operations, Chief Operations Officer, Chief Innovative Officer, Chief Executive Officer, Assistant Head Start Administrators, Health Disability Services Specialists, Early Childhood Education Specialists, Family and Community Partnerships Specialists, and the Quality Assurance Department.  Participants traveled in from their specific regions and attended five days of training as we utilize the Train-the-Trainer model.  Specialists are then tasked to return to their respective regions and train center level staff.


While attending such a rigorous training, the Wellness Champions were sure to build in some wellness breaks to ensure oxygen was flowing, and our brains were able to assimilate so much information.  The role of a Wellness Champion at ECMHSP is to serve as a conduit for communications and health promotion at their worksite.  Because our organization has many locations spread across several states, we rely on a network of Wellness Champions to support our efforts.  Scientists say the new findings overturn traditional theory about the nature of attention and demonstrates that even brief diversions from a task can dramatically improve one’s ability to focus on that task for prolonged periods.


Staff participated in a few wellness breaks that included a snowball fight as we shared the “Why” behind our commitment to Head Start, specifically Migrant and Seasonal Head Start children and families.  Next, we tied ourselves into a human knot and had to communicate effectively to get untangled—one team did get untangled.  Last, but not least, we played a game of Movie Ball, where participants bounced a ball to each other and had five seconds to respond with the name of a movie that hadn’t already been said.  There was some healthy competition at our Headquarters and a lot of laughter!


ECMHSP has committed to an important mission of building a culture of health within our organization.  We must take care of ourselves in order to pour into the lives of our children and families.  Thank you to the Wellness Champions for providing the wellness breaks, staff for being great participants, and to the management team for supporting staff wellness.

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