At MS54, we commit to caring for our physical, mental, and social health and well-being as an essential part of education. The Wellness Committee (formerly known as the School Wellness Council), founded by the School Leadership Team in 2015, invites the entire school community — administrators, teachers, support staff, students, and parents/guardians — to develop Wellness initiatives that become part of the way of life at our school. Our mission is to listen carefully and inclusively to our community’s Wellness needs and to respond in meaningful ways. The pandemic has affected each of us differently, so we are paying close attention to people’s evolving priorities.

​Want to join the MS54 Wellness Movement? Or just say hi? Write to Wellness Lead Alison Gardy at wellness@ms54pta.org.

Find out more about our previous work in our Archive and daily tips on our Facebook page, The Well at 54.

The NYCDOE Office of School Wellness Programs newsletter also provides a wealth of information for students and parents.


Alison Gardy, Parent Chair and SLT Liaison
  • September 27 @ 7 PM
  • October 25 @ 7 PM
  • November 29 @ 7 PM
  • December 20 @ 7 PM
  • January 24 @ 7 PM
  • February 28 @ 7 PM
  • March 27 @ 7 PM
  • April 17 @ 7 PM
  • May 19 @ 9 AM
  • June date TBA

All meetings are virtual.  Zoom links will be posted. Meetings are one hour long. Details for workshops are provided below under “Initiatives, Workshops and Meetings.”


What Parents Need to Know about Fentanyl
MS54 Wellness Workshop, Friday, May 17 @ 9 AM
Join the experts from the Manhattan District Attorney General’s office and learn how to keep your children safe.
Tips on How to Have Happier Children with Judy Oppenheim

Thank you to Judy and participating parents and teachers for a workshop full of insights and resources – Check out the presentation (and her full bio): PTA Happiness Project – September 27.

And find Judy Oppenheim‘s part 2 presentation on “Happiness Project – Part 2 of Tips for Having Happier Children” which she gave as a wellness workshop on Wednesday, October 25.

Part 3 Wednesday, December 20, 2023 @ 7 PM

Wellness Workshop with Dr. Elizabeth Cohen
Common Developmental Emotional Health Stages for Middle Schoolers
Wednesday, November 29 at 7PM
MS54 parent alum and therapist Dr. Elizabeth Cohen led a cohort of parents in an interactive series of questions and sharing. We shared raw concerns, gained insight into ourselves as parents, and — most important — laughed a lot! No recording was made.



MS54’s Mental Health Resource Guide
MS54’s counseling team has provided a mental health resource guide to clarify families’ first points of contacts within the school, as well as listing free and low-cost mental health resources in the community, mental health resources for families of color, and a list of recommended books and podcasts to engage families and children around mental health issues.
Mental Health Resources for the Latinx Community
The NYCDOE Family and Community Wellness Collective suggests the National Hispanic and Latino Mental Health Technology Transfer Center. The mission of the National Hispanic and Latino MHTTC is to provide high-quality training and technical assistance to improve the capacity of the workforce serving the Hispanic and Latino communities in prevention, treatment and recovery for behavioral health.

The Science of Well-Being for Teens

Online course on teens’ well being, from Yale Professor Dr. Laurie Santos.
A recent survey found that 37% of teens say they have poor mental health. This course aims to curb this mental health crisis by bringing together the best insights. Explore what the field of psychology teaches us about how to be happier, how to feel less stressed, and how to thrive in high school and beyond. The lessons along with short weekly ‘happiness homework’ assignments will ultimately prepare you to put these scientific findings into practice. The ultimate goal is for you to feel better and build healthier habits. Parents, teachers, and other professionals supporting teenagers may also find the course beneficial.

The Child Mind Institute
Brief videos to help children manage intense emotions. These videos can help kids learn to handle intense emotions without giving in to the urge to act in impulsive ways that can make problems bigger.

Helping Your Child Manage Back-to-School StressChild Mind Institute, 9/14/2022.

CMI’s Annual Mental Health Awareness Campaign, featuring video messages from celebrity participants who share simple and meaningful advice to encourage children who are struggling to seek help.