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One Class at a Time: CS Porter’s Jess Connor

OCAT Connor
Posted at 12:05 PM, Jun 07, 2022

MISSOULA - This week's One Class at a Time winner is Jess Connor who is a counselor at C.S. Porter Middle School.

Connor says she will use her $250 grant to purchase what they are calling break boxes, to help students who may be upset or in crisis.

"We see a lot of times after recess or during the day things happen where they really struggle to calm back down, to be able to learn,” Connor said. “So, we're going to make boxes for classrooms so that they can use them for coping strategies to deal with their feelings while in class."

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Connor -- who says the pandemic has really amplified stress levels for students -- will buy ten of these "break boxes" or "emotional toolboxes". These boxes will have various "tools" inside to help students "calm" and refocus for class. They will include a variety of materials, including fidgets and beyond.

"So, we have squish balls and weight balls. We're going to have mindfulness worksheets, where kids can color or even journal about their feelings. We'll have different sensor things to smell or eat, just to help the brain shift away from that stressful thing,” Connor said.