5th graders at Waverly Yowell Elementary School just had their final mindfulness lesson with professors from JMU. This was a three year project funded by the Madison County Education Foundation and led by Nicole Keys, School Counselor. Over the past three years, students have been taught mindful breathing, mindful listening, parts of their brain and their functions (amygdala, hippocampus, and the prefrontal cortex). Lessons have centered around emotional awareness, coping strategies and strengthening the brain through mindfulness strategies. This year’s lesson taught the students about the benefits of practicing gratitude and how the brain releases dopamine when focus is put on practicing gratitude.