During the 2018-2019 school year, Excellence in Education Foundation funded a Sierra High School Sources of Strength grant oriented around student wellness. During the 2017-2018 school year, students used their Sources of Strength training to support school wide wellness. Because of student interest in building wellness and culture in their school, Sierra High School applied for a grant with Excellence in Education in order to fund activities for the following school year. As a result of expanding success with the program, we are applying again in order to further support our partnership with Makerspace and fund other year long activities envisioned by students.
Sources of Strength is a TTUSD adopted comprehensive wellness training. Program designer’s characterize it as having, “a true preventative aim in building multiple sources of support around individuals so that when times get hard they have strengths to rely on” (Sources of Strength). Sources of Strength’s mission and vision is aimed primarily at suicide, violence, and substance abuse prevention by building upon the many strengths underlying wellness. At the beginning of the 2017-2018 school year, ten Sierra High School (SHS) students attended a Sources of Strength training at the TTUSD Office. For the first time since SOS implementation, students at SHS decided to form a Sources of Strength group at SHS in order to promote ongoing wellness and build upon a positive school climate and culture.
Students meet about once a month during their lunch to discuss wellness related issues and concerns, and to organize monthly activities and/or educational opportunities that relate to and promote the SOS pillars of wellness: mental health, family support, positive friends, mentors, healthy activities, generosity, spiritual wellness, and medical access. SOS has become an integral part of our school community. Activities (which are held after school, and/or during 5th and 6th periods) bring students together and promote well-being and connectedness. SOS also collaborates with community partners, like the Truckee Library and Tahoe Forest Hospital , to affect a broader understanding of mental health issues in the community.