The Integrative Wellness program takes a comprehensive approach to teaching youth the importance of living their healthiest lives. Our curriculum combines hands-on cooking workshops, nutrition education, mindfulness practices, and movement and fitness activities to engage students in new and creative ways to stay healthy. So What Else also offers several after school programs that focus on each individual component of the program through separate Healthy Living, Yoga, and Olympiad classes.
Healthy Living combines weekly cooking lessons that focus on organic foods, sustainable diets, seasonal and local produce, growing your own food, health risks posed by processed foods and sugars, and the importance of staying active. All recipes taught are nutritious, easy to prepare and locally available and affordable for their families with limited financial resources; as a result, they are easy for students to replicate on their own and help to make healthy living fun and interesting rather than a chore or burden. By giving kids the knowledge and encouragement to eat healthy and grow their own food, we empower them to take control of their health at an early age.
So What Else has brought certified yoga instructors on to the SWE youth development team to teach an introduction to yoga course that introduces youth to basic yoga positions and beginner mindfulness practices. Through these activities, we give our youth strategies to calm their minds and release anxiety. Students also gain perspective that allows them to not “sweat the small stuff.” Mindfulness practices, like yoga and meditation, offer an alternative way to cope with the stresses of adolescence.
The Olympiad program provides youth access to fun fitness activities in Olympic competition form that keep them moving and engaged in physical activity for 50 minutes. These activities are set up as a series of team games, challenges, and individual events that incorporate tenets of the 10 Pillars of So What Else, including positivity, teamwork and sportsmanship, and non-violence. Each session has a running theme of the day, which is introduced at the start of the day and reflected upon during the games and activities. Fitness time is followed by a snack, fueling the students after their exercise with nourishing and healthy options.