Lessons in Mindfulness

IMG_8535 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.

indexLessons started in 3rd grade and each year the grade level teachers received their own mindfulness training from JMU professors.  As part of the MCEF grant, teachers were given a copy of the book MindUP, by Scholastic, which has a variety of mindfulness lessons.  At this point, all three grade levels of teachers have been trained and most are using mindful breathing or other focused attention strategies in their classrooms.

For more information on MindUP, please visit http://thehawnfoundation.org/mindup/.

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