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GWI’s Children’s Wellness Moonshot Calendar Brings Healthy Habits into the Classroom

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The nonprofit Global Wellness Institute (GWI) has launched a new program that helps educators introduce young school kids to the importance and practice of physical and mental wellness.

It revolves around The Children’s Wellness Moonshot Calendar, a colorful, large hanging mobile to be displayed in classrooms that gives 12 monthly wellness themes for teachers and kids to explore—whether breathing deeply, exploring nature, moving joyfully, or showing love. This work of art hangs from ceiling to floor, and each monthly theme (represented by a moon) becomes a springboard for new lessons, conversations, coloring, songs, and games that make wellness fun and tangible. Learn more here

This program brings The Wellness Moonshot: A World Free of Preventable Disease, the GWI’s global call to action to eradicate preventable, chronic diseases, to an important new audience: pre-school to young elementary school children. This is the crucial age to introduce kids to healthy habits, as early childhood development has such an extraordinary impact on a person’s social, emotional, physical, and mental wellbeing for life. The program is being piloted in U.S. schools.

The calendar concept and design was created by Jessica Jesse, CEO and creative director of BuDhaGirl LLC, and a former member of GWI’s Board of Advisors. 

“I’m so happy that the GWI is now launching the Children’s Wellness Moonshot Calendar, because it’s a perfect opportunity to plant the seeds of wellness for future generations,” says Jesse. “I’m thrilled that my original design of a mobile calendar is being used, as I think it will captivate children and make them want to interact through beauty and whimsy.”

Children Are in a Wellness Crisis

As millions of children across the U.S. head back to school, they return in dire need of more physical and mental wellbeing. This past year, they experienced a radically disrupted childhood: the loneliness of disconnection from their friends, the challenges of remote learning, family economic stress, and even the loss of loved ones. New studies agree that American kids are in a historic mental-wellness crisis. One reveals that children’s mental health problems have doubled during COVID-19: Globally, one in four kids is now experiencing clinically elevated depressive symptoms and one in five clinically elevated anxiety symptoms. U.S. parents report that two-thirds of children have experienced mental or emotional challenges because of the pandemic. 

“As children return to school, all the discussion is about the severe learning setbacks (and catch-up needed) after a year of remote learning, but we feel that it’s equally critical to bring new wellness practices into the classroom after this difficult time,” says Susie Ellis, GWI chairman and CEO. “But it can be hard for teachers to tackle that, so we created a striking visual calendar and simple program that identifies an impactful practice every month—and learning how to breathe deeply or show kindness can be woven into every day.”

About The Author

Julie is the co-founder of Well Defined and a longtime influencer and advocate in the wellness world. Along with her work at Well Defined, she is an executive recruiter and marketing specialist for Hutchinson Consulting. She is also a consultant and content strategist for numerous wellness brands. She is the former editor-in-chief and publisher of American Spa and was named a 2019 Folio Top Woman in Media in the Industry Trailblazers category and a 2018 winner of ISPA’s Innovate Award. She is also a seasoned journalist, specializing in spa, travel, health, fitness, wellness, sustainability, and beauty. She has been published in Departures,, E! Online,, Insider’s Guide to Spas, Luxury Travel Advisor, Marin Magazine, Ocean Home, Smart Meetings, Spa Asia, and Travel Agent.