AWARD DATE: MAY 13, 2017
MC4ME receives a grant to provide mindfulness training to educators and students at Brownell Middle School from the recently established Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Legacy Funds at the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan.
INTERVIEW DATE: JANUARY 19, 2017
Rita Benn and Kristin Ervin talk with Lisa Barry on the “Art Of Better Living – Mindfulness And Managing Your Emotions” during Eastern Michigan University's radio program, Art and Soul.
Sat Bir S. Khalsa and Bethany Butzer
Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1373 (2016), 45-55
These authors are timely in highlighting yoga's potential for developing Social Emotional Learning (SEL) skills as mental health concerns are so pervasive. The authors suggest that yoga may have significant benefit for three key areas: 1) mind-body awareness, 2) self-regulation and 3) physical fitness. Forty-seven peer-reviewed studies published from 2000 on the use of school-based yoga programs in elementary school settings are included in this bibliometric analysis. Of these, 57% included a randomized control study design. Overall, findings were generally positive and varied. Significant changes in students' emotional balance, attentional control, cognitive efficiency and memory were reported. Two of the three studies that included yoga for teacher support purposes found positive effects on measures associated with well-being. The authors conclude that the published evidence to date suggest that school-based yoga interventions hold promise for enhancing students mental state, health, performance, and positive behaviors.
Donna Russotto, an early childhood educator from Escabana, reflects on the importance of meeting our thoughts just as a young child wants to be held. Here she shares with us how creating a mindful presence in the midst of a challenging encounter with 4 year-old Anna, revealed to her an inner knowing that helped her move forward.
Anna’s 4 year-old eyes sparkled as we sat and ate imaginary scrambled eggs in her preschool classroom kitchen. This bright-eyed, beautiful blond-haired child had already been in 3 different foster homes. With our eyes still connected, she stood up on a chair, keeping her tiny arms crossed. Her teacher had asked me for help to stop this type of frequent behavior. I did the only thing I knew. I walked over, picked her up, placed her on the floor again and reminded her that my job was to keep her safe. Her feet no sooner hit the floor when, still staring into my eyes, she playfully climbed up onto the next highest object.
When children “melt down” in the middle of a store, on the baseball field or in the classroom, adults often aren’t sure what is best to do. These renowned authors suggest that such day-to-day struggles can be turned into teachable opportunities to positively influence our child’s development. They offer a brain-based framework to help adults grow the circuitry of neural connections in children that results in self-regulation and the “mindsight” for cultivating empathy, self-awareness and emotionally healthy relationships. While the book is steeped in scientific explanations, the graphic illustrations, stories and descriptions of the use of 12 strategies, such as “Name it to Tame it” or “Move it or Lose it”, makes the reading very accessible.