Mental Wellness Initiative

Raising Mental Health Awareness for our Peabody Students

The Peabody Education Foundation is pleased to announce that it is launching a Mental Wellness Initiative to benefit Peabody students, teachers and parents.

In collaboration with North Shore Bank, the JB Thomas-Lahey Foundation, and the GraVoc Charitable Foundation, the PEF will be providing reading materials, motivational speakers, and other resources to help our schools deal with the mental health issues that have escalated during the past two years due to COVID, as well as those issues that continue to challenge our schools every day.

The PEF is working with School Administrators to determine which programs will most benefit the schools.

“Covid has impacted the mental wellness of our students and teachers significantly.  The Peabody Education Foundation feels it is important to assist the Peabody Schools by providing resources to address this growing concern. Our hope through this Initiative is to deliver programs that will help bring balance and emotional support to our schools. Special thanks to our incredible sponsors, North Shore Bank, JB Thomas-Lahey Foundation, and the GraVoc Charitable Foundation, for stepping up   and assisting us in this endeavor.”

David Gravel

PEF President and Chairperson David Gravel of GraVoc Associates

“We are so grateful  for the generosity of the PEF and their donors, North Shore Bank, the JB Thomas-Lahey Foundation, and the GraVoc Charitable Foundation, for specifically identifying Mental Health as an area to support the schools. The past two years have taken an incredible toll on our students, staff and families. Supporting mental health in our schools and community is a critical need.  These funds will be utilized to provide resources and activities for our students, staff and families   as they foster our vision of Hope for Every Student, Every Day.”

Joshua Vadala

Peabody Superintendent of Schools

Current/Upcoming Mental Wellness Programs:

We will be adding programs to our Mental Wellness Initiative throughout the year. Check out what programs we are currently funding below and check back soon for newly added programs!

Dr. Adolph Brown to speak to PVMHS students!

The Peabody Education Foundation and the Peabody School Department are pleased to bring Dr. Adolph Brown to PVMHS on February 3, 2023. Dr. Brown recently met with Peabody teachers and staff and was so impressive that he was asked to return to speak to High School students!

Dr. Brown prescribes verbal medicine that heals the soul. He was voted U.S. Secretary of Inspiration™, the youngest full-tenured university professor (research scientist) in the U.S. in 1999 at the age of 29, is CEO at the Business & Education Leadership Authority, was named among the Top 50 Motivational Speakers in the World, and has been seen on TV – CBS, ABC, NBC, PBS, FOX and more! He is an award-winning author, highly sought-after corporate thought leader, and distinguished master teacher. He was only two years old when his father abandoned his family and 11 years old when his only brother and oldest sibling was murdered. He overcame a life without a father, poverty and violence.

His unconventional approach has been enormously empowering, and it transcends differences of every kind – political, philosophical, religious, socio-economic, generational, gender, lifestyle, etc. Dr. Brown is admired around the world for his simple, yet powerful, universal, timeless teachings.

TIGER is coming to the Peabody elementary schools!

TIGER is a powerful and exciting collaboration between the Integrated Arts and School Counseling graduate programs at Plymouth State University in New Hampshire.

Now in their 20th season, TIGER is a professional theater company designed to help children, schools, parents and communities deal positively and proactively with social issues and concerns facing children in schools today.  They are passionate about teaching social-emotional skills and empowering school-age children to make the right choices in difficult situations.  TIGER offers exceptional original musical performances based on the writing of children, along with interactive experiences and workshops for students, teacher and parents.  Their productions focus on real issues facing students today, and use music, theatre, dance, humor and wit to engage, educate and entertain.

Emmy award winning TIGER has performed for over 530,000 students throughout New England.  TIGER has also performed at the state level for the New Hampshire Department of Education, regionally for the New England Theatre Conference, nationally for the American Alliance for Theater and Education, and internationally for the National Drama International Conference at Durham University in Durham, England, the ASSITEJ International Festival of Children’s Theater in Cairo, Egypt and the IDA World Congress in Paris, France.

The Peabody Education Foundation is excited to be sponsoring TIGER performances at all eight elementary schools in February and March for a total of 12 shows!

Past Mental Wellness Programs:

Check out the speakers and programs we’ve funded in the past!

Social Emotional Libraries

The first program under our new Mental Wellness Initiative is Social Emotional Libraries. These libraries have been distributed to all eight elementary schools in the City of Peabody and will be accessible to all elementary school teachers to use for social emotional teaching in their classrooms.

Overseen by the school’s guidance counselor, these motivational paperback and hardcover books cover topics including responsibility, respectfulness, being safe, cooperation, acceptance, resilience and empathy. Some of the books included in the library:” But It’s Not My Fault”, “Teach Your Dragon Respect”, “The Juice Box Bully”, “Can I Play Too?”, “I am Enough”, “She Persisted”, “You are Awesome”, “We’re All Wonders”, “How full is your bucket” and “What if Everybody Did That?”. Stickers inside each book include the names of the sponsors and carry the message “Be Kind to Yourself’.

The PEF would like to thank school counselors Maria Champigny and Jackie Rose from the McCarthy Elementary School who initially brought the library to the attention of the Peabody Education Foundation Grants Program Committee as a Grant application. Maria and Jackie felt that, as a result of the pandemic, they were seeing an increased need for coping strategies in order to help students self-regulate and be able to access their learning. The Committee was impressed with the idea and expanded it to include all elementary schools under the Mental Wellness Initiative.

In the News:

WBZ Channel 4 – How social emotional learning builds skills to help kids improve their mental health

Amazing Hero Artist: Rob Surette

The Peabody Education Foundation, along with community sponsor North Shore Community Action Programs, is excited and proud to have world-famous Speed-Painter, ROB SURETTE, performing at our elementary and middle schools!

In the last 29 years, Rob has visited over 4,000 schools worldwide, spreading messages of self-empowerment, positivity, equality, kindness and hope! Rob has appeared on The TODAY Show, The Tonight Show, Good Morning America and The Oprah Winfrey Show!  He is a Top-Tier Master Fine Artist for Disney, Lucasfilm, MARVEL, DC Comics, DreamWorks and Muppets!

Rob will appearing at all elementary schools in Peabody during the month of March, and at the Higgins Middle School in late May.  He will bring his messages of perseverance, respect, strength and struggles, strategies and routines and healthy lifestyle to his art performance.

In the News:
Salem News – Portrait pays tribute to late superintendent


Motivational Speaker Norm Bossio

As part of our Mental Wellness Initiative, the Peabody Education Foundation recently sponsored Norm Bossio, motivational speaker.  Norm spoke to the high school students at Peabody Veterans Memorial High School about how to take control of your life, getting your priorities straight and using the gifts you have been given while taking a long hard look at yourself in the mirror, all delivered with humor!

For over 30 years, Norm Bossio has spoken in front of nearly 3 million audience members in venues ranging from an American Indian Village Tribunal to the Hoosier Dome.  Norm once spoke to 400 high school students, 50 lingerie salespeople, and 45 nuclear physicists…all in the same day.  Having keynoted national conferences in virtually every major industry, Norm’s audiences have included clients ranging from Bill Clinton to Stephen King.  Prior to starting his own business, he served as a teacher, principal, and superintendent of schools.  For 8 years, Norm was an adjunct faculty member and consultant to the management certificate program at Stonehill College.  He received his B.S. from Springfield College and M. Ed. from Boston State College.  In 2006, Norm hosted the national public television special, “Staying Motivated on the Deck of the Titanic with Norm Bossio.”  His first book was recently published by DogEar Publishing in Indianapolis, IN.  In 1994, Norm was named Speaker of the Year by the Yankee Chapter of Meeting Planners Internal.

In the News:

ItemLive – Speaker Motivates Peabody High Students


Support our Initiative 

If you would like to make a donation to help fund our Mental Wellness Initiative, please click the button below to view our donation page!

Sponsored by:

We would like to thank our sponsors of our Mental Wellness Initiative programs!

Peabody Education Foundation

The Peabody Education Foundation provides unique programs and advanced technology to thousands of students and teachers who might otherwise not enjoy such experiences due to budget constraints.

P.O. Box 233
Peabody, MA 01960