School counselor creates student, faculty virtual calming rooms

The+student+virtual+calming+room+provides+a+variety+of+relaxation+resources.+Link%3A+https%3A%2F%2Fdocs.google.com%2Fpresentation%2Fd%2F1n0HIO35OzYYc6bdX3hoUx0eRjn5o0fllwDiLvcRJbBs%2Fedit%3Fusp%3Dsharing%0A

Created by Stephanie Smith-Durkin

The student virtual calming room provides a variety of relaxation resources. Link: https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1n0HIO35OzYYc6bdX3hoUx0eRjn5o0fllwDiLvcRJbBs/edit?usp=sharing

Chris Pugh, Staff Writer

One school counselor took mental awareness virtually serious and created calming rooms to offer relaxation to both students and teachers.

Stephanie Smith-Durkin, creator of the virtual calming rooms that were shared with advisory classes, was recently awarded the 2021 ACAC School Counselor Advocate Award. This award honors school counselors who demonstrate exceptional advocacy while providing students with developmentally appropriate programming and being an active and collaborative member of the school community.

“I thought it was necessary, being that we are in a pandemic, and typically school councilors are able to access their kids and provide social support, so this provides a way for students who are remote to access these resources,” said Smith-Durkin. 

She adapted these sources for Ocean Lakes students from a nationwide network of teachers. There are multiple techniques and tools to click on that lead to calming sources such as coloring, meditation, yoga, and even visual relaxation videos.

“So far the bubble wrap is my favorite part, but I’ve only explored one so far,” said freshman Ryan Groodroe.