Since early 2007, Mindful Schools has served more than 2500 students in 11 schools, 9 of which are public schools with predominantly underserved populations. In early 2008 our staff began revisiting all of the schools for follow-ups to help ensure mindfulness is being sustained in the classes.
How do we teach mindfulness?
The mindfulness program teaches children to pay attention. In a series of mindfulness exercises students are taught to focus their attention on sound, their breath, movement, and various other parts of their daily experience. This teaches students to be and to stay in the present. It helps make them more aware of their thoughts and feelings.
This awareness gives students an understanding of their emotions and emotional reactions, allowing more control and the ability to make choices in response to difficulties, rather than habitually reacting.
The tools students gain from mindfulness can potentially provide an essential underpinning for academic success and can create a foundation for every other program they are offered. The skills children acquire through the mindfulness program can help students cope more easily in challenging times and thrive in good times, in all areas of their lives.
The mission of Mindful Schools is to support mindfulness training in educational settings by bringing programs to schools; to support teachers and administration in their own understanding and practice of mindfulness; and to be part of creating calmer, kinder, more peaceful, more effective learning environments throughout the country.