County educators enjoy spirit day, prep for back to school

August 9, 2018 GMT

DeKALB – Kelsey Gilmore, a fifth-grade teacher at South Prairie Elementary School in Sycamore, has been decorating and organizing her classroom in preparation for the upcoming school year.

To relax and take a break from classroom setup, Gilmore attended the Educator Spirit Day hosted by the DeKalb County Regional Office of Education. The event, focusing on wellness, stress management and self-care, was held Wednesday at the Community Outreach Building, 2500 N. Annie Glidden Road in DeKalb.

The event featured more than 50 vendors, raffles throughout the day, Olympia Chiropractic chair massages, nature walks, trivia, yoga, laughing yoga, mindfulness and a variety of therapies, including puppy, gardening and recreational outdoor therapy.

“The event has given me lots of ideas to use throughout the school year in the classroom,” Gilmore said. “The ROE’s events and activities are always a great resource and support for teachers in the area.”

About 100 educators attended the event, which was open to faculty, staff and administrators.

“The event is for any school personnel, even custodians and bus drivers,” Amanda Christensen, regional superintendent of schools for DeKalb County, said. “I think it’s important for anyone in education to understand their own well-being, because that’s what helps them nurture kids. Humor and being mindful are quick tools that can help anyone, everyone manage stress.”

Christensen said that the ROE has been planning for the event since last fall.

“We wanted a chance to honor and celebrate those that work with children and youth and provide a day where they can focus on themselves before taking care of others,” Christensen said. “We wanted to provide an opportunity for folks to learn something new, something that can be a tool to use in the classroom going forward.”

Donations and raffle proceeds benefited the Friends of DeKalb ROE, which helps provide kindergarten through third-grade truancy intervention.

“I’d like to thank the ROE team and everyone that helped with or donated to the event,” Christensen said. “The amount of support we’ve received from the community was inspiring. The community’s involvement really made the event a success.”