WELLNESS FAIR - Ecole Mother Teresa held a Wellness Fair which was headlined by the acapella group HOJA.

WELLNESS FAIR - Ecole Mother Teresa held a Wellness Fair which was headlined by the acapella group HOJA.

HOJA headlines Mother Teresa Wellness Fair

Ecole Mother Teresa School recently held a wellness fair in order to promote mental health at their school.

Ecole Mother Teresa School recently held a wellness fair in order to promote mental health at their school.

“The wellness fair is part of our Mental Health Initiative through Red Deer Catholic School Division,” Mother Teresa Councillor Heather Weaver said. “Each school chose to do their own project. Our project promotes mental health and helps get rid of stigma. We focused on elementary sessions like yoga, nutrition, art and worship. That exposes the students to things that can help with wellness.”

The event preceded a presentation by the acapella group HOJA, who promote the arts and anti-bullying initiatives. The entire event was to help alleviate negative feelings that young students may experience.

“As councillors we are seeing a great deal of mental health issues come through the office,” Weaver said. “We are seeing a lot of anxiety and things like that at a very young age. We want to show them ways to help take care of themselves. It is a holistic view, so through exercise, mindfulness and other activities you can change the way you feel about yourself. It is a really positive event.”

Helping students understand their emotions is a key component of mental health, according to Weaver.

“The awareness portion is one of the greatest things that we are trying to teach, so they can access these wellness tools themselves,” she said. “We are doing a project based learning, on our day here, and we are focusing on how they can use the tools from this day in their daily lives.”

The memebers of HOJA were pleased to share their musical styling and positive message with students at Mother Teresa.

“We are an acapella group and we travel all over Canada and do a lot of school shows where we spread the word about the arts,” Performer Jesse Froese said. “We always want to put on a great a show. We do a lot of covers and top 40 songs. Students definitely get into it.”

Sharing a love for singing is something very important to HOJA.

“We like spreading the arts and also showing that music can be cool, fun and also that guys can do it,” Froese said. “It can sometimes be not cool for guys to like singing as they’re growing up, so we want to show that it is okay and hopefully inspire them. We followed our dreams from when we were kids and hopefully they can as well.”

Froese hopes that the students enjoy their experience listening to HOJA.

“We hope they have a good time,” Froese said. “We love singing and sharing with any audience that is willing to listen.”

He added that he hopes that students will be inspired by their performance, much like he was.

“When I was in Grade 4, I saw a HOJA show,” he said. “The show has been around for over 20 years and I was sitting in the crowd thinking ‘I would love to do something like this. That would be so cool’. I am lucky enough to be able to do that now.”

todd.vaughan@sylvanlakenews.com