Lancers and Lions work together to promote happiness and well-being

Lancers and Lions

As a new and booming course at Carlsbad, the Art and Science of Well-being class has been stretching the bounds of education and incorporating the community in their projects. With the close proximity to Magnolia Elementary School, teachers Becky Wentland (CHS) and Melanie Lupica (MAG) kickstarted a project to bring together both teens and kids to bond and learn.

The project has just sprung into action in the past few weeks. The classes have now met twice and plan to continue their partnership for the remainder of the year. During these meetings, the teens work with their elementary-aged buddy on fun projects taught by Mrs. Wentland.   

“I met Mrs. Wentland at a birthday party and we talked about the things we love about teaching and how beneficial to have our classes working together… there it started,” Lupica said. “We both got busy at the beginning of the school year but we followed up to see if we can still pull something off, then Lancers and Lions was born. Mrs. Wentland has been planning activities to teach our kids about wellness and happiness. We are learning a lot so far so it’s been great, the kids really look forward to it and they always ask how much longer till our big buddies come.”

Each time the classes meet, the highschoolers strive to convey what they are learning in the wellness course. Mrs. Wentland focuses on teaching happiness to the students so they can bring it to their partners. By preparing activities for the kids, students can learn skills that are applicable in reality. 

The coolest part is learning that it’s important to focus on your happiness and that you have to take steps to make yourself a happier person.

— Melanie Lupica

“We are writing a letter about gratitude for anyone that they appreciate and they are writing down what they appreciate about them and then they are going to give them to that person,” senior Zoe Fernandez said. “We do little cute projects, last time we saw each other we had to build a structure with spaghetti sticks and try to make it the tallest out of everyone else’s.”

The duos are by no means random. The teachers wanted to get the most out of this experience, so pairs were made based on their hobbies, interests, and extracurriculars. Buddies Riley and Zoe are an example of one of these matches made in heaven.  

“We made a flipgrid on all the things that we like and our teachers watch the videos and pair us up with the person we would be most alike,” third grader Riley Ganz said. “I like everything about Lancers and Lions, I’ve never had an older sibling, I only have a little sister who’s three, she hits me a lot and bites me.” 

With this program, the elementary kids get to form a relationship much like that of an older sibling. For kids that do not have an older sibling, it gives them a chance to have a role model. Not only do the younger kids benefit, but the teens do as well. By working with younger kids it helps to bring the high schoolers a sense of adolescence.  

“I think that when you’re a teenager, you tend to feel like people are controlling your life or your situation and you’re always trying to fight for independence. In this situation, they’re the role models and the ones that are putting forth their best effort in teaching the little ones about what we have learned in class,” Mrs. Wetland said. “Last class we talked a lot about meditation, this time we’re talking about gratitude, next time we’re talking about savoring, there’s a whole list of topics that we covered in class that then we’re going to bring to the kids.”  

This project has pushed students from both of the schools to grow their skills both inside and outside of the classroom. By participating in this buddy system, the high schoolers can bring joy to themselves as well as their partner.

“I think it brings the high schooler’s an element of fun, probably the highlight of coming over is the time we set aside for free play together. I think that’s their favorite part, whether it’s playing “Duck, Duck Water Goose” or basketball or just getting to go on the monkey bars after 10 years its fun for the high schoolers to come over and find happiness by helping others.”