August 2009 Newsletter

In This Issue:

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Mindfulness in the Classroom Workshop (Aug 15-16)

Our two-day summer workshop offers attendees the opportunity to learn all about the program, as well as to meet with educators and other people who are excited about teaching mindfulness to children.  People who have a mindfulness practice and experience working with children have found that they have been able to take our program and make it work in their school or therapeutic environments.

Please click here to register. The registration fee (payable by check) is $225, which includes lunch on both days. Prior mindfulness practice is not required.

Click here for more details about the workshop.

Mindful Schools in Action

We constantly hear great anecdotes from teachers and principals about the effectiveness of mindfulness at their schools. Here are two examples:

"I am astonished and had to call you. We asked our graduating 5th graders what they learned at Sankofa and virtually every one of them wrote about mindfulness."
    - Danielle Neves, Principal of Sankofa Academy

A fifth grader describes how he and his Grandma used to get very upset by the upstairs' neighbor's noise. "Now we just practice mindfulness and it doesn't bother us anymore." Finding calm is the most prevalent answer we receive when we ask students about the advantages of practicing mindfulness.

Our updated Testimonials page features a number of other anecdotes, along with the concepts they illustrate.

Upcoming Schools

This fall, we'll be teaching at a number of new schools, including Monarch, Global Family Village, Community United, Berkely Maynard, Millsmont, and Lazear.

Pending receipt of a grant, we will be doing follow-ups at some of the schools where we have been in the past: Emerson, Piedmont Avenue, Park Day School, Edna Brewer, Reach, Sankofa, RISE Academy, New Highland, Prospect Sierra, Fruitvale, Met West High School, Blue Oak, Oakland International High School, Munck, Hillcreast, NOCCS, Bridges, Futures, EnCompass, and Raskob Day School.

Several independent schools have also shown interest in our work and we are providing a training for the elementary school teachers at Head Royce in late August.

Research Project: The Effect of Mindfulness on Young Children

In the next few months, we will be conducting a formal research study on the Mindful Schools program. The study, conducted by our research director Gina Biegel, will be one of the first to quantify the benefits of mindfulness for elementary school children.

Gina will be measuring students' attention, academic engagement, academic-related behavior, and teacher efficacy. Some measures will be completed by students, others by teachers. The project begins this fall with Millsmont Elementary and Berkley Maynard (one will be a control school). Both schools serve a population with 75% of the students receiving free or reduced lunch.

Mindful Schools at the Omega Institute

In early August Mindful Schools was invited to participate in a Mindfulness in Education Retreat in Rhinebeck, NY at the Omega Institute. One of our founding teachers, Daniel Rechtschaffen organized the weekend and we were thrilled to be presenting alongside Jon Kabat-Zinn, the founder of Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), Linda Lantieri, a renown educator of the Resilience Project in NY who is teaching teachers mindfulness, and the Lineage Project, an organization that teaches mindfulness and yoga to incarcerated youth.

Among the 220 participants were educators, psychologists, medical professionals, and others from Chicago, Virginia, Texas, New Jersey, New York, and many other states and even countries. Our presentation was very well received with much excitement, and several of the people from these places have decided to attend our August workshop!

Mindfulness in Education Conference in October

Don't miss the Mindfulness in Education Conference, taking place in Oakland, CA from October 30 to November 1st. The conference will include a keynote from George Mumford entitled "The Role of Mental Strengths in Developing Athletic and Academic Excellence", a full day conference for educators, counselors, and administrators, and a full day mindfulness workshop. Various members of our Mindful Schools staff will be presenting at the conference.

Supporting Mindful Schools

Please consider making a donation to Mindful Schools. Your contribution is tax deductible to the extent allowed by law, and will provide a child, a classroom, or a school with the opportunity to receive these priceless, life-long skills. To donate, please email, or call Laurie Grossman at (510) 653-0317 Ext. 105.  All contributions are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law. Contributions of $250 or more will be substantiated by Park Day School, as required by the IRS.

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Mindful Schools is a community outreach program of Park Day School. 
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or by calling Laurie Grossman at (510) 653-0317 Ext. 105.
We would love to hear from you.