Nearly 200 attendees joined The Collective, a Varsity Brands initiative, to prioritize students' mental well-being at 2023 Educator Empowerment Summit
DALLAS, Aug. 14, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- On July 24 and 25, Varsity Brands, the market leader in sport, spirit, and achievement, hosted its second annual Educator Empowerment Summit, where around 200 participants explored the current state of mental health in schools.
The Collective, an initiative within Varsity Brands' IMPACT program, encouraged educators at the virtual summit to initiate conversations and empower action that aims to progress students' mental well-being. The Collective's partner mental health organizations – including Erika's Lighthouse, Hip Hop Public Health, Crisis Text Line, Generation Spirit, Holistic Performance Center and The GoBeGreat Foundation – presented their programming, and this year's keynote speaker was international youth transformation speaker Chaz Perez, who discussed the importance of connection and self-talk as these concepts relate to mental health and healthy relationships.
Participants joined roundtable discussions and interactive breakout sessions to identify needs and discover new solutions for students, teachers, coaches, support staff, administrators and parents from across the globe. Throughout the two-day professional development event, The Collective's efforts impacted:
"The Educator Empowerment Summit is a team effort across the Varsity Brands enterprise with each division of the business contributing to our overall mission, and this year's event was a huge success for all of us," said Aaron Hart, Vice President of Curriculum & Program Engagement for Varsity Brands. "Varsity Brands leads The Collective with a focus on elevating the mental health of students and educators in all schools. We worked with educators to explore the current state of mental health in our schools, and we gave all participants a voice to share their needs and what resources will support them. We look forward to digging deeper into the insights and feedback provided so The Collective can take action on improving students' experiences in the near future."
As a result of this year's summit, educators collaborated and generated 178 unique suggestions and data points focused on mental health in schools in 28 breakout sessions. The IMPACT program will organize and prioritize the information gathered to guide the work of The Collective over the next year.
Key takeaways from the breakout sessions in which educators discussed and provided feedback to The Collective include:
"I think the most important advancement that The Collective has made over the past 12 months is the growth of this community," said Sasha Roopchand, Health and Physical Educator at The Brooklyn Green School. "It takes a village! Having all these resources available in one location for educators helps to ensure that they at least consider implementing and utilizing effective tools that we can trust."
To learn more about Varsity Brands, IMPACT and The Collective, please visit varsitybrands.com.
About Varsity Brands
With a mission to inspire achievement and create memorable experiences for young people, Varsity Brands elevates the student experience, promotes participation and celebrates achievement through three unique but interrelated businesses: BSN SPORTS, a Varsity Sport Brand; Varsity Spirit; and Herff Jones, A Varsity Achievement Brand. Together, these entities promote personal, school and community pride through their customizable products and programs to elementary and middle schools, high schools, and colleges and universities, as well as church organizations, professional and collegiate sports teams and corporations. Through its dedicated employees and independent representatives, Varsity Brands reaches its individual and institutional customers each year through competitions, camps and sales.
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