Photo courtesy of WIA

Wellness for educators

WIA donates funds to give back to community educators

Women In Action (WIA) is providing every Ophir Elementary, Lone Peak High School, Discovery Academy and Morningstar Learning Center teacher, administrator and support staff member a wellness card, worth up to $100, to be redeemed at Big Sky Fitness Fusion, Moving Mountains, Santosha Wellness Center, Lone Peak Performance or OZssage Therapeutic Spa.

These funds come from WIA’s general fund, which supports camp scholarships, educational funding and community wellness.

“The board and I came up with this idea that we need to thank our educators for everything that they’ve done this year,” Jean Behr, executive director of WIA, said. They reached out to Big Sky School District Superintendent (BSSD), Dustin Shipman, and other teachers they knew personally to see what they needed. Behr said the resounding answer was relaxation.

The list of five community wellness centers was constructed and all businesses were happy to be a part of the program. “I think everyone is just feeling like we want to do something to thank the frontline workers and to thank our educators. Everyone was very enthusiastic about it,” Behr said.

The idea is equal parts supporting local businesses, who suffered during the pandemic, and supporting those whose entire work lives—and in many cases, family lives, if educators also had children to homeschool while teaching their own students from afar—were upended.

Wellness cards—created by the WIA board members and filled out for each individual receiving—will be delivered to Morningstar, Discovery and BSSD employees as classes resume. Recipients will have until the end of the spring semester to use their card at one of the five offerings. Each local business is listed on the card with a description of what is offered to the community’s educators through the Wellness for Educators Program.

“We wanted to give them a wide variety so they can pick the thing that suits them,” Behr said. She has been impressed by the stamina and fortitude of those on the frontlines during the pandemic and hopes wellness card recipients take advantage of an opportunity to relax. Behr also hopes it gives recipients something to look forward to other than just going back home at the end of the day.

Contact the five local businesses that are a part of the Wellness for Educators Program to learn about their coronavirus policies.

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