MINDFUL SCHOOL COMMUNITIES

Our goal is to create healthy and mindful school communities through sustainable programs as we prepare a generation of students to thrive in a compassionate, aware and dynamic world.

We achieve this by not just reaching students alone, but by including parents, staff and administration. Understanding how our mind works and learning how to regulate our emotions are as important a part of education as any other arts and sciences taught in our schools.

BENEFITS TO STUDENTS

Improves Attention Span

Regulates Emotion & Emotional Response

Decreases Stress and Anxiety 

Strengthens Compassion

Fosters Resilience

GTM’S 6-Week Mindfulness Program:

Our six-week program includes a 20-minute session once-weekly in each class. We provide evening sessions to parents and we support teachers with at least two trainings. We include a teacher toolkit and daily mindful minutes for schools and weekly Mindfulness Home Connection. We teach an evidence-based, age-appropriate curriculum that includes brain science, a foundation of social skills linked to mindfulness, studies that support our approach and include active kindness-gratitude practice, experiential lessons on empathy and practical skills for the stressors that student’s face at varied developmental stages. 

 

Just as we can learn to play the piano or do other things through practice, we can cultivate well-being and happiness. World-renowned neuroscientist Richard Davidson and his colleagues at the Center for Healthy Minds at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, inform us that the brain keeps changing over its entire lifespan stating: 1) You can train your brain to change, 2) that the change is measurable, and 3) new ways of thinking can change it for the better.

 

Research supports that benefits to students include self-regulation, anxiety and stress reduction, increased attentiveness, awareness and resilience. It can result in greater focus and academic success. 

During the course of our sessions, students will learn tools and skills to support their own well-being: 

 

  1. An Introduction to Mindfulness & Mindful Bodies

  2. Simple techniques to calm the mind, using visualization and breath

  3. Managing emotions and response-ability 

  4. Mindful listening, softening and heartfulness  

  5. Mindfulness everyday & the Science of how mindfulness works

  6. We are all in this together. Let's Grow Through Engagement
     

At the end of each week’s session we leave the class with a “Mindfulness Home Connection” (MHC) which can be sent to parents electronically. Our MHC describes what was covered that week in class and how to keep up the work at home. Each class will prepare its own Mindfulness Jar which will serve as a regular reminder of the changing nature of the thoughts and emotions swirling in us.

MINDFUL MINUTE:

Introducing daily Mindfulness to students and supporting the 6-week Grow Through Mindfulness Program in every classroom.

A Mindful Minute is a pause, a minute, a time to rest the mind’s busy-ness into a more relaxing, expansive state. It is a tool that can be integrated into various times of a regular school day.  In a very short time, Mindful Minutes can transform the internal climate and thereby shift the external school environment.

GTM’S PARENT and TEACHER Connections

Our program is a community-wide effort. Mindfulness education sessions to parents and teachers. We will share information and handouts on maintaining mindfulness at home and in the classroom. Our curriculum allows for a re-connecting to one’s self and an increased connection to community. Our goal is to create a nurturing school environment that prepares a generation to lead a kind, compassion and aware world. 

CUSTOMIZABLE

We are happy to discuss your school’s needs and tailor our programming accordingly. Contact Us.

School Engagements

Changing lives:

3000+

STUDENTS

300+

TEACHERS

500+

FAMILIES

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES

  1. Bringing Emotional Intelligence into classrooms; giving children an opportunity to get in touch with their feelings and develop a vocabulary to understand and address them in an empowering and appropriate manner.

  2. Educating children in the Mind-Body-Breath connection.

  3. Teaching ways to self-soothe in case of stress to foster Emotional Responsibility.

  4. Making room for Imperfection - building an awareness that while success is the goal, failure is a possibility. Teaching healthy ways to work with failure and defeat.

  5. Application of the above in real-life situations.​

OUR TEACHING PLAN

Children thrive with our unique "TIP" teaching plan: T-  Teach, I- Inspire, P-Practice.

Our unique TIP model (teach-inspire-practice) encourages interactive discussion and participation through movement. TEACH hallmarks include lively and meaningful classroom discussion and plenty of Q & A time. In our INSPIRE approach we share anecdotes and scientific evidence on the efficacy of meditation and mindfulness. PRACTICE includes both movement and participation with the intention of helping students to make mindful-choice a way of life.

REACH BEYOND THE CLASSROOM​

Embrace a mind and heartfulness education with these opportunities for continued support.

  • Provide small follow-up teaching capsules for classrooms of every grade.

  • Reinforce the teachings in various ways to sustain them over a lifetime.

  • Provide support and coping techniques to children for stressful situations such as preparing for tests, sports events or transitioning to another school.

  • Speak to parents and teachers on occasion to educate them in how mindfulness can change their lives and families.

  • Sessions can be made available throughout the year or for a fixed number of weeks/months.

WHAT KIDS & GROWN UPS SAY

Mindfulness has helped me because when my brother made me mad I took a belly breath and it made me brave and calm down.

I really liked the games and using our four senses.  This helps me enjoy the things around me.

 I really liked connecting with my hero inside of me. It makes me feel safe.

I am so pleased that all 3 of my children were able to be exposed to mindful thinking and strategies while at school. I have seen them settle down, close their eyes, and use deep breathing at home to calm down. They also have new language and tricks to use when feeling anxious or angry. All three really enjoyed the activities with Katie, and I appreciated the take home flyers with activities for us to do as a family. 

Harper Elementary School Parent

FAQS

Is there a quantifiable link between mindfulness and improved school performance?


Mindfulness programs consistently deliver: -focus and concentration -increased sense of calm -decreased stress and anxiety -improved impulse control​ -increased self-awareness and empathy -development of conflict resolution skills These tools translate to increased success in test preparation, execution, along with strides into athletics, the creative arts and overall performance. Through Mindfulness training, students develop the skills to regulate their nervous systems in real time.




What’s the difference between Mindfulness Training, Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) programs and Anti-Bullying campaigns?


Our curriculum is not meant to replace existing SEL programs or anti-bullying campaigns; they support one another in a synergistic fashion. Mindfulness programs can increase the effects of SEL programs. Mindfulness helps students to train their attention and regulate their responses to impulses. When students operate from this perspective of self-regulation, they are able to think clearly enough to choose the most effective SEL strategy, in the heat of the moment. Mindfulness is the “missing basic” to the hundreds of programs that ask students to “STOP” in some way before acting.




Does Mindfulness Training have a positive effect on a child’s brain?


Mindfulness practice is associated with changes in the brain. Thirty (30) years of research has confirmed that there is increased gray matter in the insula, the area in the brain that plays a role in self-awareness and empathy for emotions. Through Mindfulness Training, there is evidence that shows positive changes in both the hippocampus, which controls the flight or fight response and where learning and memory take place, and in the prefrontal cortex (PFC), which controls executive function and attention control. Since the PFC continues to mature into the 20’s, decision-making for adolescents can be more challenging. Mindfulness occurs in the moment between stimulus and response. It creates space so that impulsive reactions can be replaced with thoughtful responses.




Is Mindfulness a religion?


Mindfulness can be as simple as taking a deep breath before an important event, or bringing our full awareness to a moment spent with our children. Cultivating this compassionate and purposeful awareness allows us to be present for the important people in our lives. This attention is a loving gift we can offer. Practicing contemplation is just one way to cultivate mindfulness. While it is true that contemplation is found in many religious traditions, it is also widely found outside the context of religion. Mindfulness holds a prominent place in medicine, mental health and education. At GTM we take our commitment to teach in a secular manner seriously. Everyone at GTM signs a personal commitment to integrate mindfulness in education in a way that neither advances nor inhibits the religious beliefs (or lack of beliefs) of the educators, staff, students, parents, and community with whom we interact.




Can students participate in the program year after year?


Our program is designed to provide age-specific curriculum to meet the changing needs of children throughout the development process. The goal is to provide small capsules of teaching that resonate with each grade level. Through reinforcement, children can develop skills that can sustain them over a lifetime.




What’s the overall program cost?


Costs are based on a price per project basis.




What does a suggested program look like?


Programs are tailored to fit specific needs. We do suggest a seven class package, along with two staff/parent meetings.





825 Green Bay Road, Suite 120, Wilmette, IL 60091

847-853-0600

info@growthroughmindfulness.com

Registration with the Illinois Attorney General Charitable Trust Bureau or any other government agency should not be construed as an endorsement of FBL Cares, Inc.  FBL Cares Inc., DBA Grow Through Mindfulness.

© 2018 Grow Through Mindfulness