February national recognitions

Black History Month

This February our school celebrates Black history month with the BSA and our media center. Myles Christian, BSA member and role model states “Black history is more than black history, it’s world history,” adding that the importance of our school celebrating Black history month is a time to celebrate black excellence.
“[BHM] also reflects on past achievements and hash truths. Not just that but to also look forward to [the] future and break many more barriers,” said Christian.
The way South is celebrating Black history month is really by the students. Any students who check out books in the media center by Black authors will be placed in a raffle for prizes throughout February. Media specialist Gwen Kunz will also e-mail students and teachers about important Black history events to celebrate and help everyone learn more history.
BSA will host the BSA Showcase, a talent show which highlights representation and Black empowerment within South.
The showcase will be hosted on Feb. 24.
“I am very excited to host the BSA talent showcase. The energy is very vibrant and alive from the audience. The performances were everything and I believe this year will be even better!” Christian said.
If students want to support BSA, they can also buy from their upcoming bake sale taking place in the cafeteria, February 10.


Random Acts of Kindness Week

This year, Random Acts of Kindness week falls between Feb.12-18. The purpose of this week is to focus on the positivity that surrounds us every day. It is also a week to teach, learn, and share our kindness with others.
It originated in Denver Colorado in 1995 by a nonprofit organization called Random Acts of Kindness Foundation. It eventually spread to New Zealand in 2004, and since then the holiday has become increasingly widespread.
According to Summa Health, “research shows that giving to others combines the chemicals released in a euphoric high – endorphins, dopamine and endocannabinoids.” Performing acts of kindness essentially makes people feel good and encourages them to continue doing it.
Ideas for spreading kindness include visiting the nearest library and donating a book, asking someone about their day, writing a positive comment online, or texting someone good morning or good night. If you’re looking for more ways to participate in kindness week, visit randomactsofkindness.org.


Self Check Month

February, although the shortest month, hosts an important national recognition: self check month, encouraging people to schedule annual check ups, mental health screenings, and get the necessary tests done to stay healthy.
Health professionals recommend teens in high school should still get height, weight, and body mass index checked annually to make sure they are developing the way they should be. Lungs and heart should also be checked for abnormalities that can be caught and treated early on. Cancer can also be caught early and treated.
Physical health is one component, but making sure teens are mentally sound is just as important. Studies show that one in six teens experience a mental health disorder each year and 18.1% of the population has an anxiety disorder diagnosed. Mental health screening for anxiety, depression, ADHD and more could potentially save someone the struggle later in life.
For any mental health crisis or suicidal thoughts, call 988, the National Suicide Hotline. For any physical health concerns, consult a doctor.


Eating Disorder Awareness Month

Ten thousand two hundred deaths occur every year as a result of an eating disorder- one death every 52 minutes. In America, 28.8 million people will have an eating disorder at some point in their life. However, many people with eating disorders go undiagnosed because they hide their symptoms or have their symptoms dismissed, and continue to suffer.
Eating disorders affect everyone no matter size, age, or gender. The symptoms of these illnesses don’t always manifest themselves in visual ways. There can be severe fluctuations in weight, but also dizziness, sleep problems, extreme concern with body size, concern with diet and exercise, and many more. The three types of disorders include anorexia nervosa (extreme restriction of food), bulimia nervosa (binging and purging the food eaten), and binge eating disorder (binging on food secretly and then restricting). Other disordered eating symptoms that do not fit the criteria for these three are often classified as OSFED, or Other Specified Eating or Feeding Disorder. Other eating disorders such as ARFID (Avoidant Restrictive Food Intake Disorder), Pica, and Rumination Disorder, and other concerning eating patterns such as Orthorexia, Compulsive Exercise, and Diabulimia exist and are real, harmful behaviors, but are rarely diagnosed in comparison to the other three.
For those struggling with disordered eating behaviors, help can be found in the form of therapies, different types of treatments, and support groups. If you or a loved one are experiencing an eating disorder, help can be found at 1-800-931-2237 (National Eating Disorder Association Hotline, open Mon.- Thurs. 8 AM CST- 8 PM CST, Fri. 8 AM CST- 4 PM CST) or by texting “NEDA” to 741-741. For more information, visit nationaleatingdisorders.org or anad.org.


Library Lover’s Month

February marks national library lovers month, celebrating libraries and books across the nation. Libraries offer many under-recognized resources other than giving us access to our favorite books.
Libraries are the hub for meetings or educational classes in many communities, including Plainfield. Most libraries offer accessible classes and tutors for adults and children. To celebrate national library lover’s month, people can support local libraries by volunteering, joining clubs, becoming a member and keep reading.
The Paw Print staff shares our top book recommendations to kick off national library lovers month:
Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid, taking place in the 1970’s this book presents an up and coming band following the lead singer Daisy, wild and reckless, who challenges other member of the band Billy with his sobriety and rock and roll lifestyle.
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen is a classic American novel that tells the story about Elizabeth Bennett’s life as a country landowner’s daughter. This story shows the independence of Lizzie, who doesn’t conform to England’s standards about women as well as showing her relationship with a rich aristocrat, Fitzwilliam Darcy. They both must overcome their differences, their prides, and the prejudices they have.
Heartstopper by Alice Oseman is a LGBTQ+ graphic novel that shares the life of Charlie, who develops a crush on his seemingly straight peer Nick. This coming of age story shows characters coming to terms with their sexuality and how teens battle with outside forces.