Wellness Wednesday NYC

Summer Wellness Wednesday NYC

Through our Summer Wellness Wednesday NYC program, we will support students and families with resources that can help them maintain their physical, mental, and emotional well-being during summer break. All participants should follow city, state, and CDC guidelines while participating in the activities. These guidelines include but are not limited to:

  • Staying home if you are sick
  • Staying at least 6 feet away from anyone who does not live in your household
  • Wearing a face covering whenever possible
  • Washing your hands before and after activities

Wednesday, August 19, 2020: Summer Wellness Wednesday Week Six

Community Partner: Hip Hop Public Health

Hip Hop Public Health (HHPH) is an internationally recognized organization that creates and shares public health and education interventions designed to improve health literacy, inspire behavior change, and promote health equity. Based in New York City, HHPH was founded in Harlem in 2006 with the mission to empower youth and families around the country – and the globe— with the knowledge and skills to make healthier choices and reduce preventable health conditions. Through a research-driven developmental process created by Columbia University Neurologist Dr. Olajide Williams (a.k.a. the "Hip Hop Doc"), Hip Hop Public Health works with socially conscious artists and public health experts to create highly engaging and culturally relevant "edutainment" tools such as music and videos.

The Hip Hop Public Health team, led by physical education veteran and public health leader Lori Rose Benson, is a collective of not only health and education professionals (including nutritionists, public health researchers, teachers, physicians, behavioral scientists, and a student advisory board), but also successful multi-media professionals and A-list iconic rap stars and pop artists including Doug E. Fresh, Chuck D, DMC of Run DMC, Ashanti, Jordin Sparks, as well children's television writers/producers (formerly of Sesame Street). All HHPH music, videos, comic books, video games and guidance documents are available for free and can be accessed on its online resource repository.


Behind the Mask

Behind the Mask is an original new song and music video featuring Raheem DeVaughn, Doug E. Fresh, and Darryl DMC McDaniels, designed to increase the use of face masks as an effective means of stopping the spread of the coronavirus. At the time of this launch, COVID-19 cases have exceeded 5 million in the United States alone and the virus continues to disproportionately affect communities of color. Wearing a mask has been proven to reduce the spread of coronavirus and one study from the University of Washington showed that if 95% of the public wear masks, we could avoid approximately 34,000 more deaths by October 1, 2020.

20 Seconds or More

At the height of the pandemic, Hip Hop Public Health launched the 20 Seconds or More initiative in collaboration with the Bristol Myers Squibb Foundation to empower children and families with information, tools and resources to stop the spread of the COVID-19. The star-studded music video PSA and accompanying resources harness the power of music to encourage hand washing and other key safety protocols.

20 Segundos O Más

Building upon the success of the 20 Seconds or More initiative that has reached over 100 million people so far, Hip Hop Public Health launched 20 Segundos O Más to empower Spanish-speaking and bilingual people with the right information, tools and resources to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Featuring over 30 community influencers and activists who represent the full depth and diversity of the Latino diaspora, the hip-hop and Latin-inspired music video encourages proper handwashing techniques and other safety protocols like social distancing and wearing a mask.

Move-To-Improve World Beats

Move-to-Improve: World Beats NYC album is an eclectic mix of Hip Hop, R&B, Reggae, Bollywood, Lo-Fi and Latin tracks that range from upbeat tempos to mellow instrumentals, all reflecting the diverse communities of New York City. Produced by Hip Hop Public Health and in collaboration with the New York City Department of Education Office of School Wellness Programs, the album includes a diverse range of inspiring music designed to get students of all ages moving.

Wednesday, August 12, 2020: Summer Wellness Wednesday Week Five

Community Partner: Bike New York

Bike New York empowers New Yorkers to transform their lives and their communities through bicycling. Their vision is to increase ridership, to empower youth to lead healthy, productive lives, to remove barriers to cycling, and to advocate for and expand services to reach more New Yorkers.


Virtual Bike Education Resource Hub https://www.bike.nyc/digital-resources-bike-education/

In response to the increased need for digital bike learning resources, Bike New York has created a list of books, videos, movies, documentaries, activities, and curricula designed to keep students from pre-K through high school engaged with the history, community, fitness, and fun of cycling. Bike New York is also hard at work creating new instructional videos and virtual classroom sessions to adapt materials from their standard year-round programming for easy online access.

Bike Library at Shirley Chisholm State Park

Bike New York’s Bike Library offers free access to bikes that allow Shirley Chisholm State Park visitors and neighbors to explore 407 car-free acres and 10 miles of bike paths. Among the first free bike share programs in the country, the Bike Library at Shirley Chisholm State Park features recycled bikes on reclaimed land. Just leave an ID and use a Library bike and helmet for free throughout the park!

Recycle-A-Bicycle https://www.bike.nyc/recycleabicycle/

Bike New York’s Recycle-A-Bicycle Shop is a community-based bike shop that offers sales and full-service repairs. The bicycles begin as donations and are sold fully refurbished. Proceeds from sales and services directly support Bike New York’s education program.

Wednesday, August 5, 2020: Summer Wellness Wednesday Week Four

Community Partner: United States Tennis Association (USTA) Eastern Section

Community Partner Description: The USTA Eastern Section is a not-for-profit community service organization whose mission is to promote and develop the growth of tennis. The section encompasses all of New York State, Northern New Jersey and Greenwich, Connecticut. It is one of 17 geographic sections of the United States Tennis Association, the national governing body of tennis.

USTA Eastern offers countless programs for all ages and levels, including everything from youth introductory options to high-level competitive adult play. They are staffed to help provide tennis opportunities to every corner of our section, including New York City.


USTA Get Out and Play

Tennis is a sport that naturally allows for social distancing and is a great way to keep the whole family engaged and active. Take advantage of public courts in your area or simply set up a small play space in a local courtyard or park using tape or string—USTA has all the resources you need to get started today. Reach out to Neil Thakur, local Tennis Service Representative in the Greater New York City area for more information on USTA Eastern programs and services at thakur@eastern.usta.com

Wednesday, July 29, 2020: Summer Wellness Wednesday Week Three

Community Partner: Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS)

HSS is the world's leading academic medical center focused on musculoskeletal health. HSS has been ranked number one for orthopedics by U.S. News & World Report (2019 - 2020). HSS has also been a top-ranked hospital for both orthopedics and rheumatology for 28 years straight.

The HSS Sports Medicine Institute includes a team of physicians dedicated to treating athletic injuries with a special focus on the shoulder, elbow, hip, knee, foot, and ankle. The physicians serve as team physicians for over thirty professional sports teams, colleges and organizations. The HSS Youth Safety Sports Program has reached more than 100,000 young athletes throughout the United States and around the world.


The HSS Sports Safety Learning Center

Participating in sports provides children with many health benefits that can last a lifetime. Unfortunately, these benefits sometimes come with the risk of injury. Among the 30 million children who participate in organized sports in the United States, more than 5.5 million children suffer injuries each year.

To address this issue, HSS has established its Youth Safety Sports Program in 2015 with a generous donation from HSS Board member James Dinan and his wife, Elizabeth Miller, through the Dinan Family Foundation. Our mission is to teach people how to protect the musculoskeletal health of physically active children. Since the first education event in 2016, HSS has delivered hundreds of free classes and workshops to tens of thousands of students, parents, coaches, and teachers from school and community sports organizations throughout New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Florida. These on-site classes and workshops are highly interactive and allow participants to receive specialized instruction and real-time feedback from our expert team of youth sports safety educators. We have also developed dozens of classes that are available on-demand through the HSS Sports Safety Learning Center.

July 22, 2020: Summer Wellness Wednesday Week Two

Community Partner: BOKS

BOKS is a physical activity program designed to reverse this public health crisis by getting kids active and establishing a lifelong commitment to health and fitness. Built on the science and research documented in the book, Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain, BOKS provides free physical activity curriculum, training and support to communities looking to establish and maintain impactful fitness and nutrition programs serving the whole child. Having grown from a single elementary school to a global initiative, BOKS is scalable, and its impact is supported by scientific research. BOKS envisions a world in which movement is a foundational part of every child’s day.


BOKS at Home

BOKS Summer Resources are designed to provide physical activity for students and families. The BOKS Summer Fun Pack is designed for children in Kindergarten through Grade 9. It allows kids to design their own adventures and choose from a multitude of enriching activities every day. They can select BOKS Bursts to stay active, crafts to fuel creativity, and healthy recipes from America’s Test Kitchen. The BOKS Summer Bootcamp, created for teens and young adults, provides six weeks of physical activity guided by Reebok Fitness Experts. The Bootcamp is entirely equipment-free, can be done in small spaces, and is highly modifiable to suit all fitness levels. It culminates with a 1,000 Repetition Challenge that includes a chance to win a prize from Reebok.

July 15, 2020: Summer Wellness Wednesday Week One

Community Partner: New York Road Runners

The mission of the New York Road Runners is to inspire people through races, community runs, walks, and trainings, The Rising New York Road Runners program brings free youth programming to kids all over the country. 


Rising New York Road Runners’ Active at Home Program 

Staying active is important for our physical and mental health. The Rising New York Road Runners’ Active At Home Program brings free, downloadable workouts from world-class athletes to students and families’ homes. You’ll find instructional videos featuring Olympic medalist Jenny Simpson, two-time Puerto Rican Olympian Beverly Ramos, U.S. Olympic Trials Marathon champion Aliphine Tuliamuk, and five-time Paralympic medalist Rudy Garcia-Tolson. All activities are adaptable for children of all ages and abilities, and resources are now available in Spanish. Activities can be performed individually or as a family to keep you active while practicing social distancing. The activities are fun and are guaranteed to get your blood pumping!

Wellness Wednesday NYC

Healthier students are better learners. The DOE started Wellness Wednesdays NYC to help students and families learn skills and habits that can promote physical, mental, and emotional well-being. During challenging times, we can take steps to care for ourselves and for others every day. We can try to achieve modest goals to stay healthy, focused, and ready to learn, no matter where learning takes place.

Each Wellness Wednesday will focus on a different theme. Each week, you will find new activities and resources on this page to help you learn about key components of wellness, including:

  • the importance of physical activity and good health
  • how to care for your mental and emotional health
  • how to communicate with fairness and respect
  • how to build stronger relationships

We encourage students, parents, caregivers, and household members to do these activities alone or together to help support well-being. Give it your best. Stay active. Stay healthy.

We welcome your feedback and questions: Email DivisionOfSchoolClimateAndWellness@schools.nyc.gov

June 24, 2020: Living With Wellness, Part 2: A Celebration of You

It has been quite a school year! As a parent or caregiver, you made it through remote learning: You were a teacher while keeping everything else in your house together. Students, you took on more responsibility in your learning than ever before. We are living through COVID-19, social distancing, and the fight to bring long overdue justice for people of color in the US. This week, take a few moments to celebrate all you’ve accomplished.

Weekly Activity

A Celebration of YOU!


Affirmation Cards

  • activeathome.nyrr.org

    June 3, 2020: Engaging in Healthy Relationships and Social Connections

    Knowing how we can build relationships and connections that are healthy, supportive, and safe while taking care of ourselves is important. This week, we will learn what a healthy relationship is and what it feels like, whether it is a friendship, a partnership or a family relationship. We will also learn how to manage conflict with family, peers, and partners in person or in online spaces.

    Weekly Activity

    Building Your Super Friend Toolbox


    To explore:

    • Talking About Relationships, from Planned Parenthood: Online tips for parents about talking to children from preschool to high school.
    • Common Sense Media: Website for parents and educators to help young people use media safely.
    • For students in grades K-5:
      • Friendship Soup: A video from The NED Shows to help students practice friendship skills.
    • For students in grades 6-12:
      • What Makes a Relationship Healthy? A video from Amaze.org, a sexual health education website for teens.
      • LoveIsRespect.org: Helps young people learn about healthy relationships and how to prevent and end abusive relationships. Site includes hotlines to text or call in crisis.

    To get help:

    Workout of the Day

    Jets Home Workouts with Justus Galac, #2

    As part of Wellness Wednesday, we encourage you to find time to be physically active. This week we work out with Justus Galac, the Head Strength and Conditioning Coach of the New York Jets. Get ready to warm up and get your heart pumping!

    May 27, 2020: Movement Magic

    Being physically active supports our physical, mental, and social-emotional health. Daily exercise and movement help our bodies stay healthy and can also help to improve our mood. This week, learn how to

    • create a fitness goal
    • use the space you have in order to improve your overall fitness level
    • be mindful of your daily physical activity

    Weekly Activity

    Building Your Super Friend Toolbox


    Workout of the Day 

    Gymnastics Workout with Wendy Hilliard!

    Wendy Hilliard was the first African American rhythmic gymnast to represent the USA in international competition. Wendy competed in three world championships and coached Aliane Baquerot Wilson at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia. Today, she runs a foundation that provides free and low-cost gymnastics classes to kids in New York City and Detroit.

    May 20, 2020: Nutrition and Food Security During Insecure Times

    How can we make sure that we are able to access and eat wholesome meals? We need to eat a balanced diet of healthy foods so that our bodies get the nutrients they need to be healthy and strong. By eating healthfully and getting regular physical activity, we can prevent health problems like high blood pressure and diabetes. New York City has many services to help people access free meals and healthy food.

    Weekly Activity

    Eating a Nutritious Rainbow


    Free meals and food access

    • Free Meal Location Near You. Find free “Grab and Go” meals available for all New Yorkers. No ID, no one turned away, all welcome. Get three meals per person in one visit, Monday to Friday 7:30am to 1:30pm.
    • Get Food NYC: Find free meal distribution sites with this interactive map.
    • Food Bank for NYC: Search the map to find a soup kitchen, food pantry, senior center, or SNAP enrollment site near you.
    • Hunger Free NYC: Find Neighborhood Guides to Food & Assistance, with information on free food access in all five boroughs. Users can learn how and where to access SNAP/Food Stamps, WIC, School and Summer Meals, senior meals, soup kitchens and food pantries, and farmer's markets that accept SNAP as payment.
    • Coronavirus NYC Neighborhood Food Resource Guides: Download the guide for your neighborhood to find free food resources. There is a guide for each of NYC’s 59 community districts.
    • NYC Food Delivery Assistance: Families who are unable to access food may qualify for free food delivery assistance. Click the link to find out if you are eligible, and request forms.
    • New York City Greenmarkets: Most Greenmarkets are open. Use your EBT card and for every $5 you spend receive a $2 Health Buck to buy fruits and vegetables.

    EBT and cash benefits 

    Online nutrition education and activities

    Workout of the Day

    Workout with the New York Yankees, Episode 2!

    This week’s workout features Donovan Santas, Assistant Director of Player Health and Performance for the New York Yankees. Donovan shows us how to do a full body workout using your legs, arms, and core.

    May 13, 2020: Keeping Your Family Healthy

    Fight Germs: Wash Hands! When your child or another household member has a cold or cough, wash your hands frequently. Handwashing may be the most important act that you and your child can do to lower the risk of spreading infection to others. It is a key to disease prevention.

    Weekly Activity

    Handwashing Saves Lives


    • 20 Seconds or More, produced by Hip Hop Public Health: A hand-washing video featuring legendary rapper Doug E. Fresh and well-known music artists, public health experts, athletes, entertainers, and families. Listen along and learn how to help stop the spread of COVID-19.
    • CDC Handwashing Video : This 9-minute video aimed at children explains
      • how germs spread
      • why it is important to wash with soap
      • the right way to wash your hands
      • when it is important to wash your hands
      • how to avoid getting colds and flu
    • Hand Washing: Keeping Your Family Healthy: This flyer from the CDC is a resource for parents to help teach children about handwashing. Available in English, Spanish, and Haitian Creole. The linked page also has other fact sheets about keeping hands clean.

    Workout of the Day

    Workout with a US Rugby Player!

    As part of Wellness Wednesday, we encourage you to find time to be physically active. Today’s workout features Phaidra Knight. Phaidra is a retired professional rugby player who was named US Rugby Player of the Decade in 2010. Since her retirement, Phaidra has enjoyed being a lawyer, media talent, business owner, and motivational speaker.

    May 6, 2020: Healthy Minds

    Learn how to better manage thoughts and cope with emotions in ways that are healthy. This week, reflect on how you currently feel. Talk about emotions and where we feel these emotions in our bodies. Learn a relaxation activity to feel calmer in your mind and body.

    Weekly Activity

    Where and How Do I Feel?


    Workout of the Day

    Workout with Eric Cressey of the New York Yankees

    As part of Wellness Wednesday, we encourage you to find time to be physically active. This workout is with Eric Cressey, Director of Player Health and Performance for the New York Yankees. Eric’s job is to make sure the players are healthy and strong so that they can play their hardest for their fans.

    April 29, 2020: Living with Wellness

    Learn about the different areas of wellness in your life. This week, reflect on how you are feeling physically, mentally and emotionally, and socially. Make a commitment to one area of wellness that is meaningful to you.

    Weekly Activity

    Ready, Set, Wellness!


    Workout of the Day

    Jets Home Workouts with Justus Galac

    As part of Wellness Wednesday, we encourage you to find time to be physically active. This workout is by the Head Strength and Conditioning Coach of the New York Jets football team.