Pulaski Middle School uses natural daylight to improve mental health

PULASKI, Va. – With school back in session, mental health is a major focus for school systems.

“If you’re having mental health issues or struggling with emotions and things of that nature, you’re not going to be able to focus on your schoolwork,” said Rob Graham, Pulaski County Public Schools superintendent. “After the pandemic, we’ve dealt with a lot of mental health issues with students too.”

For Pulaski County Public Schools, they said they are working to do their part in helping everyday mental health.

“We want them to be able to succeed and achieve at high levels,” said Graham.

One way they are doing this is by allowing natural daylight into their middle school.

Douglas Milburn, an expert in glass and cofounder of the glass used in Pulaski Middle School, said buildings built 50 years ago were designed differently.

He said getting natural light every day is part of being healthy.

“Natural light has a huge impact on human beings inside buildings,” said Milburn. “People in dark boxes are just not as healthy, just aren’t as happy.”

He also said studies show adding natural light to schools boosts the overall health of schools.

“Students in schools with good natural lights, achieve up to 20 percent better than students who are in no natural light situations,” said Milburn.

As for Superintendent Rob Graham, he said the entire school system knows the students’ health is the most important.

“All of our employees know how important it is to make sure our students have every opportunity to have support when they do have mental health issues,” said Graham.

About the Author:

Thomas grew up right here in Roanoke and is a graduate of Salem High School and Virginia Tech.