Celtic Circle’s Girls’ Night In Event: May 9, 2018
When “I” is replaced with “We”, even ‘Illness’ becomes ‘Wellness’. ~ Malcolm X
Celtic Circle held their annual “Girls’ Night In” event at Bishop Ryan CSS on May 9, 2018 and the girls had a blast! The Celtic Circle at BR is an extracurricular club about student mental health and wellness. 35 female BR students of all grade levels and backgrounds participated in the event. Many of the students participating are also members of other BR clubs such as Diversity, F.R.E.E. and sports teams.
The event began after school and kicked off with a lesson in self-defense moves by none other than our resident Jujitsu master, Ms. Reitz in BR’s wrestling room. The girls learned skills like how to throw an attacker, how to build a stable base and how to get out of a choke hold, to name a few. With this lesson, Ms. Reitz will find her class rosters filled to the brim this upcoming September! Next, occasional teacher, Miss Ruscitti, also graciously volunteered her time leading the girls in an exhilarating lesson in Zumba! The students danced away and even our Spanish ESL students felt nostalgic for their homes with sights and sounds of Latin music in the dance studio.
Celtic Circle hoped to empower our female students to feel safe in any surrounding and to get those endorphins pumping! “Like medicine in the treatment of mental illness, exercise can increase levels of serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain. It improves and normalizes neurotransmitter levels, which, ultimately, helps improve mental health. Other benefits include enhanced mood and energy; reduced stress; deeper relaxation; improved mental clarity, learning, insight, memory and cognitive functioning; enhanced intuition, creativity, assertiveness, and enthusiasm for life; and improved social health and relationships, higher self-esteem, and increased spiritual connection”, as per the National Alliance on Mental Illness (www.nami.org).
The girls also enjoyed having their hands and arms decoratively painted with Henna by two of our very own BR students, Maryam Rehman and Amna Kahn. Make Up Worx, Nail and Bare Worx booths demonstrations and makeovers by Monika and Trisha have been rescheduled for May 31st from 2:45 – 4:45pm after school.
After exercising for so long, the girls replenished their nutrients with lasagna – meat and veggie – that were available to our vegetarian and Muslim students, garden salad, fruit, and veggie trays and cookies for dessert. Towards the end of the dinner, Natalie Cumberbatch, make-up artist for CHCH News gave a powerful and moving presentation on female empowerment, loving the skin you’re in, self-worth and self-esteem. She described her struggles as a teen battling mental health and wellness issues: eating disorders, weight and body image. She applauded the girls for thriving in a culture where every “cool kid” is an Instagram model with Botox lips, hips and buttocks (think Kendall and Kylie Jenner) and everyone’s lives are portrayed as perfect on social media. It’s hard enough being a kid, never mind having to live up to society’s expectations in today’s day and age. Natalie also presented the girls with helpful ways to boost their self-worth and esteem. She gave the each of the girls a present, a gift of a crystal with a message included with “I am” statements for the girls to repeat to themselves: I am enough, I am beautiful, and I am loved.
The event was a hit and we expect the make-up event on the 31st to also do well. Celtic Circle is also planning on having a movie night and/or games night before the end of the school year for all of the BR student community. Special thanks to Ms. Mariella for helping the transition of club’s leadership as she is now at Cathedral CSS. Special thanks to our volunteers for the evening: Ms. Reitz, Miss Ruscitti, Miss Cumberbatch, Mrs. Profetto and Miss Pavao. Special thanks also to the Celtic Circle club members and to Miss Fernandez who helped get this event off the ground.