Let me answer with the story of one 5th-grade student we met this year...
During our lesson on gratitude and happiness, students are asked to share something that makes them happy.
In one classroom, a student, whom I'll call “Sam,” said not much makes him happy in school as other students don't talk to him or ask to play with him.
The Calmer Choice instructor took a moment to respond by thanking him for sharing and acknowledging how hard that must be. She added that it looked like his peers were hearing what he said.
During the last lesson in our Classroom Program, students were asked to share a favorite lesson or activity from their Calmer Choice time.
In this exercise, “Sam” shared...
“When Calmer Choice started, other students weren't nice to me. Now some of my classmates talk and play with me. I've learned that there are kind people in the world.”
As parents and educators, we don’t always know what comments or lessons will impact a student. Sometimes, it isn’t until much later that we recognize a moment that has changed us.
Our school mindfulness programs go beyond teaching kids how to ‘be calm’ or ‘pay attention.’ We are planting seeds of awareness, connection, and resilience that will grow and continue to create impact for students, supporting them to lead lives of compassion and kindness towards themselves and others throughout their lives.
For “Sam,” a change happened when he had the opportunity to notice how he was feeling and share honestly with his peers in a safe and supportive environment.
This is an example of the power of mindfulness to shift our individual and collective experience.
In addition to launching our Mindfulness Circle Elective at
Dennis-Yarmouth Intermediate School, we've been busy making a positive impact at the community level as well!
We've provided 6 Professional Development trainings for teachers.
We've helped 4 community organizations with mindfulness-based staff support.
We organized a 3-day residential mindfulness retreat that was open to the public.
This holiday season, please consider donating to Calmer Choice so that we can continue to reach students like “Sam” who need to know that they are not alone and that there are kind people in the world.
Sarah Manion, Chief Program Officer