Springville teacher creates program designed to help students, parents and teachers relax


SPRINGVILLE N.Y. (WIVB) – A teacher from Springville Elementary is helping students, their parents and educators manage their stress and anxiety.

“We needed to do something to calm our minds before we began our day,” Kerri Voit, who teaches fourth graders, said.

Voit was concerned the demands on students right now is causing too much stress, which then turns into behavioral issues in schools or with remote learning. So with the help of health and wellness coach Jessica Raymond, she designed the program, Morning Focus.

“I wanted something easy to use that wouldn’t take a lot of time and that would pin point our youth, especially our elementary students who sometimes we find don’t understand how to handle the feelings that they might be having,” Voit said.

Morning Focus is an online program that connects with people through meditation, breathing and uplifting videos. Those videos Can be found on social media and YouTube.

“It doesn’t take a lot of time in your day,” Raymond said. “We call it Morning Focus but lots of parents and home schoolers that I know are using these things even in the middle of the day or on the weekend. Just anytime that they’re feeling that their kids are feeling overwhelmed with the emotions of school and adjusting to hybrid and in school.”

Parent Karyn Hanrahan has twin daughters who learning remotely. She says she’s been following along with the program and that it’s making a difference.

“It really helped set the day and because we are in the remote setting, one thing that they do miss is having the things that you do at school the routine and that so this became part of our routine,” she said.

The program is free and has a new theme every month with 5 to 6 minute videos for people to follow.

Sarah Minkewicz is a reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2019. See more of her work here.

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