Senior Health Baby Project

Brian Yoon ‘19

By the middle of January, it becomes commonplace to spot seniors carrying stuffed animals; some caress, some lug, and others toss their “children” on their way to classes. This is the senior baby health project.

The senior health curriculum has made the seemingly bizarre project a long standing tradition. However, there is more to the project than taking care of a stuffed animal. According to Mr. Marsh, one of the senior health teachers, explains, “We want to increase student awareness of the responsibility of relationships as well as the importance of contraceptives and their effectiveness.”

Upon interviewing several Ridge Seniors whether the project does indeed prepare them for parenthood, the responses were mixed. Andrea Zhang ‘19 claims that “the informality of the project left out crucial aspects of motherhood like feeding the child.” On a similar note, Grace Wang ‘19 laments that other aspects such as “not having to change diapers and not having the other parent present after school made the the project seem a little lackluster.” While these claims are indeed valid, others believed that the larger goal of the project must be considered. Brandon Ying ‘19, took the neutral stance, asserting that “while the project was informal, it served as a good trial run for me. I was introduced to the struggles of parenthood without necessarily the gravity of rearing an actual child.”

In terms of preparation, the baby project has some drawbacks. After all, the seniors are not taking care of a real baby. While many opinions conflict, the project appears to be overall beneficial, serving as a valuable exposure to the difficulties of raising a child. The hallways now remain void of stuffed animals until they return once more for yet another two weeks.