The freezing cold did not deter thirty participants from traveling to Ann Arbor to engage in a morning of compassion and awareness practice. In the afternoon, we live streamed the presentation by Natalie Freeburn, a wonderful high school teacher in Saline, who shared her experience in implementing a stress-management elective course for the last three years. Check out her video-recording here.
Michigan Collaborative for Mindfulness in Education
Morning Retreat and Afternoon Meet-up
February 9, 2019
Ann Arbor, MI
Coalition of Schools
Educating Mindfully Conference
February 28-March 2, 2019
St. Charles, Illinois
Beaumont Center for Mindfulness
Silent Retreat with Christiane Wolf, MD, PhD
April 8-10 or April 8-13
Grand Rapids Mindfulness Center
The Art of Mindful Communication, Oren Jay Safer
Friday, May 10, 2019
Grand Rapids, MI
This past year, I was inspired, as I am sure many of you were, by the story of the Thai soccer team youth who survived in the cave for 10 days before being rescued. Their coach had taught them meditation which they practiced during this time as a means to help conserve their energy and not panic. Closer to home, we can be inspired by a story shared during our fall networking session by an elementary classroom teacher in Ann Arbor. She reminds her students to practice using their mindful breathing during traumatizing lock down drills which they have to undergo to protect themselves in case of an active school shooter. While I am distressed that we live in a world where we need to practice these drills, isn’t wonderful that our students and teachers can have a go-to practice to use during these stressful times. I am grateful to this teacher for having the presence of mind to offer the practice of mindfulness in real time, and hope many other teachers in our classrooms will feel so inspired! - Rita Benn
School-based mindfulness intervention supports adolescent resiliency: A randomized controlled pilot study
Felver, Joshua C. et al.
International Journal of School and Educational Psychology, 2018, 159, 1-12.
The study examined how Grades 9-12 students responded to the 8-week Learning to Breathe (L2B) curriculum in an ethnically diverse school with the following a priori hypotheses: 1) students would show improvements in psychosocial resiliency; 2) demonstrate reductions in problem behaviors; and 3) have increased attendance and grades as a result of participating in the intervention. Because L2B is designed to be a universal prevention program and is easily integrated into secondary settings at the classroom level, it may have great utility for increasing students’ capacity to withstand the high levels of stress typically experienced during this developmental period. Forty students from two health classes were invited to participate. Of those 40, 29 students consented; however, due to sample attrition, only 11 students remained in the treatment and control conditions. Even though a pre-post, controlled randomized trial design was used, the small size and volunteer nature of the sample, indicates that we hold any study findings lightly. Significant differences between the intervention and control group post intervention occurred for the resilience measure only. Interestingly, resilience scores did not change over time in the treatment group, but the control group’s resilience scores lowered post intervention, suggesting that protective-stabilizing factors are enhanced by L2B exposure during the adolescent period.
This study adds to the growing literature on how school-based mindfulness programs may afford high school level students key solutions for maintaining their well-being.
This fall, MC4ME began working with staff at Neutral Zone, a teen center in Ann Arbor, to develop mindfulness-based practices in their organization. In addition to formal training sessions, MC4ME put together a resource guide of short practices for staff to use to help introduce mindful awareness into their activities with teens.
Furthermore, as a follow-up to a full day summer introduction to mindfulness with the Troy School District, MC4ME is now offering an intensive after school training program to their social work staff, counselors and classroom teachers.
This book is a wonderful resource to help teachers and parents introduce tweens and teens to mindfulness-based practices. The book is a quick read and well-organized. It is divided into five chapters. In the first four chapters, the author provides pertinent background information, along with specific activities to explore each of the following areas: mindfulness, mindful yoga, mindful breathing and mindful meditation. In the fifth and final chapter, a 5-day mindfulness challenge is offered to serve as a how-to planning guide for incorporating mindfulness into everyday life. Throughout the book, there are easy to follow instructions accompanied by colorful illustrations to depict the various activities, body positions and sequences of movement poses. We heartily recommend this book to help beginners of all ages explore the variety of ways to learn and experience mindfulness.
This series of five video sessions from March 12- 16, 2018, organized by the Mind & Life Institute, features leading mindfulness scientists and expert practitioners sharing information with His Holiness the Dalai Lama on his longstanding interest in learning how to best educate the hearts and minds of young people. Each of the five sessions are two hours in length and focus on social-emotional education in early childhood, elementary and middle school. Presentation of research findings and model curricula,sprinkled with discussion and words of the Dalai Lama, demonstrate how compassion, ethics, and attention training can be more fully integrated into existing educational frameworks. Enjoy the videos at your leisure, and feel free to begin with whichever session sparks your interest most. https://www.dalailama.com/videos/mind-life-xxxiii-reimagining-human-flourishing
“Peace. It does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble, or hard work.
It means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart.” –Unknown
At the beginning of August, over 175 staff from Troy Public Schools took time out of their vacation to attend a one day mindfulness training provided by MC4ME. There was so much interest that participants were turned away. Stephanie Snider, an elementary school social worker, has been the driving catalyst to bring mindfulness more widely into the lives of teachers and students in the Troy School District.
We are happy to share that MC4ME is partnering with the leadership efforts of Steve Norman responsible for bringing together the first of three summer IBME Teen Retreats to Michigan. The first retreat will be held at Fetzer Institute, July 20-26, 2019 and capped at 22 participants due to venue size. Contact Steve Norman (firstname.lastname@example.org) to learn more or to become involved in planning, mentoring or recruiting efforts.