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Freeport Schools promote mental health amid pandemic

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With schools scheduled to remain closed until April 15, Freeport Public Schools Superintendent Kishore Kuncham said the district would be revamping its website to streamline and promote access to its online mental health services for students, staff and residents. 

One of the services available on the website details relaxation techniques, in the form of breathing exercises, yoga and meditation classes. The resources are provided through a partnership of the district’s Youth Empowerment Seminar and Sky Schools, an education organization that works with schools to create mental wellness programs for students and staff. 

The online relaxation courses are held five times a day. There are three sessions in the morning, a session in Spanish at 5 p.m. and a final session at 8 p.m. All are free. 

“It’s important that we manage our fear and anxiety during these unprecedented times," Kuncham said. “This will promote mental wellness, and we want as many people as possible to take advantage of it.”       

The superintendent said that between 300 and 500 people in the district have taken part in the program since it was launched over five years ago. He added that many of the schools in the district have devoted part of their morning periods to breathing exercises.  

Jennifer Melendez, of Freeport, said her son had done the exercises at Caroline G. Atkinson Middle School, so she was glad to hear that her family could still have access to the relaxation courses from home. She added that with schools closed, her two sons have had their regular routine disrupted and are finding it hard to stay active. 

“It’s hard,” Melendez said. “We’re scared to go outside since we’ve had someone test positive [for Covid-19] in our apartment building, so we appreciate whatever the schools can do for us.” 

The direct links to the website will be made available soon at  http://www.freeportschools.org/