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Teachers enjoy spa day at elementary school

By KBell
May 4, 2011 at 12:04 a.m.

Massage therapist Rhawnie Ware uses a soft touch to relieve stress and aches for a teacher at Schorlemmer Elementary School. The school's library was darkened and softly lit with candles.

BENEFITS OF MASSAGE

Decreased anxiety

Better sleep quality

More energy

Improved concentration

Increased circulation

Source: www.massagetherapy.com

The library at Ella Schorlemmer Elementary School was off-limits to kids Wednesday.

Instead, teachers and staff were invited into the candle-lit room, with blacked-out windows, soft music and scented oils, for a mid-day massage.

"They look the most relaxed I've seen them all year," said Tracy Hanes, president of the school's Parent Teacher Organization.

The PTO brought Woodhouse Day Spa on board to provide the educators at the elementary school a spa day as part of Teacher Appreciation Week.

"I just think about the foundational aspect of what they do and give to our youth, our future, and they don't get a lot back," said spa owner, Jeni Garrett. "One week a year is not enough."

Garrett said the spa has been donating similar services to teachers over the last 10 years, but for several of the pampered, the 10-minute massage was a rare treat.

"I never had a massage before. I never wanted to spend money on it," said kindergarten teacher Victoria Cross.

But the gift card in a goody bag from the spa had her hooked.

"I said I'd definitely be spending it," Cross said.

Her students supported the idea of their teacher getting a massage, too, Cross said.

"One of my girls said, 'Yep, you need it. You teach boys,'" Cross laughed.

Karisa Miller and Kaylee Armstrong, both first grade teachers, and facilitator Kelly Gabrysch, walked out of the laid-back library all smiles.

"I feel appreciated," Miller said.

"I feel like we need to do something for (the PTO) now," Armstrong countered.

Miller said the massage was the first she'd had in three years, and she welcomed the rest of what she anticipated being a patient and calm day.

Massages are "definitely a good gift idea, but it's hard to spend that money on yourself," she said. "It was such a good idea. (The PTO) is so creative."

The teachers would be heading back to the kiddos soon, but not before grabbing a bite to eat from the luncheon supplied by parents.

"This was probably the best way to show them how much we care about and appreciate them," Hanes said. "They're exceptional. You can't find better people."

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