Summer break is officially over for most kids in Louisville. Thousands of students will kick off a new school year tomorrow at Jefferson County Public Schools (JCPS).
Making the leap from elementary school to middle school brings new routines, a new school with new friends and teachers, and honestly, it can feel overwhelming.
Sixth graders at Crosby Middle School might feel a little less anxious walking into the first day thanks to one student’s no-stress kits.
Now an eighth grader, Lex Postlethwait remembers his first year at Crosby.
“Sixth grade was a little bit stressful for me. It was not as fun for me for the first couple of months,” he shared.
On top of all the other adjustments that come with middle school, Postlethwait was navigating how to manage a new ADHD diagnosis. Once he found the right balance, he discovered school was a lot easier and more fun.
Postlethwait is a Life Scout with Troop 190, working toward the Eagle Scout rank. While trying to come up with an idea for his service project, he flashed back to his middle school experience and brainstormed creating a welcoming committee: Crosby Minds Matter. That idea led to handing out “no-stress kits” to new students.
“It sounds like a simple name and that’s what it is – no stress,” Postlethwait said. “Fidget spinners, water bottles, stress balls, we have mental health publications.”
Once his scoutmaster and Crosby’s principal approved his project, Postlethwait contacted Louisville Water to see if we could help his idea become a reality.
“I was thinking maybe we should put a water bottle in there because we’re allowed to have clear water bottles now at school.” He had also read how water can boost your mental health.
When Louisville Pure Tap® Public Relations Specialist Kayla Hanak received Postlethwait’s request, it was a no-brainer.
“We get a lot of requests for bottle donations year-round, but don’t always have the capacity to approve them all. It can be tough making those decisions. Lex’s project was such a natural fit that we didn’t have to think twice. Hydration is so important for mental health! A Pure Tap bottle is a simple tool to help set these students up for success and I’m grateful to Lex for including Louisville Water,” Hanak said.
Each Pure Tap bottle contained a health benefits flier, bookmark, and sticker. Postlethwait worked hard securing other donations, including drawstring bags, t-shirts, journals, and calming stickers. Students received the no-stress kits at last week’s orientation.
Postlethwait hopes this is the first year of many for Crosby Minds Matter helping new students feel a little more at ease and excited about this new chapter.
“I’m hoping to keep on doing it, to get other students to maybe help do this as well,” he said. “I think it would be fun and a huge boost for my troop and my project to raise awareness of mental health.”