When students return to Lake Mary High School, they’ll find a new, soothing room dedicated to their emotional well-being
After the mass shooting at South Florida’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Brittany Sinitch (a teacher who experienced the trauma) created a nonprofit entity called The Unbreakable Organization, which was dedicated to helping communities heal after tragedy strikes. As part of its mission, the organization launched a campaign to create a unique safe space inside any school that needed one.
Stephanie Jordan, a teacher at Lake Mary High, nominated her school after the LMHS family experienced an on-campus suicide in March 2019. Lake Mary High School was selected to receive a room makeover that would give students a calm environment to regroup mentally, physically, and emotionally when they need to take a break. The room is now ready to serve students as they arrive for the 2020-2021 school year.
“This room helps us create a safe space where students can get words of encouragement and take a break if they need one,” explains Dr. Mickey Reynolds, LMHS principal. “Creating this welcoming space, one that doesn’t look like the rest of the school, is so important for students, and we are realizing this more and more.”
The room, designed in earth tones, includes yoga mats, space for meditation, tables and chairs for students to meet with mental-health professionals, comfortable couches and pillows, candles, books, and murals with words of inspiration, all coordinated by renowned classroom designer Brittany Jeltema.
“We wanted to create a safe space for the school to grow as a student body,” says Brittany. “We worked with The Unbreakable Organization to create a place to focus on Zen, meditation, and yoga – and all of the LMHS staff will receive trauma-informed yoga sessions.”
As the room was dramatically revealed to Stephanie, she opened her eyes, took in her surroundings, and cried.
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“This is just what we needed,” she exclaimed. “Students need to know it’s not just about academics – we are here for students, and this room shows them that.”