By Jen Rapanos, LMSW, RCYT
The Wise Owl Yoga & Mindfulness in Education Program was developed in response to ongoing research suggesting that children today are experiencing stress at new levels. Paired with what we currently know about child and adolescent mental health conditions, Wise Owl serves to bring evidence-based mind and body practices and education into the classroom teaching social emotional learning and priming students brains for learning.
I recently finished a 12-week series of our Wise Owl program with two fifth grade classrooms at Parkside Elementary School in Rockford, Michigan. This afternoon I took some time to read through the feedback forms that each student completed and here is what I learned:
Of the students who participated in the program:
90% feel that learning mindfulness has helped them in some way their life.
57% report that mindfulness has helped them focus better in the classroom.
59% report that they use mindfulness to help calm down when experiencing strong emotions.
55% report that they use mindfulness to fall asleep at night.
57% report that mindfulness has helped them become more aware of their feelings.
92% feel that teaching mindfulness in schools would be helpful.
Here is what some students shared:
"I used mindfulness during Battle of the Books try out. I used my breath to calm down and said to myself, everything is going to be okay." "I used mindfulness when I got mad at my siblings, I sat alone paying attention to my breath." "My sister was mad at me, I used mindfulness to calm down and not explode at her." "My favorite part about mindfulness is that I learned how to calm myself down." "I use two breathing strategies you taught us to help fall asleep at night." "My dad was talking to me and I was getting angry about what he said, I went to my room and laid down and practiced breathing in and out." "I really liked learning about my brain." "Mindfulness helps me by letting me feel my emotions." "I used mindfulness one time when I was so frustrated. I got into my mindful body and it helped me with my mood." "The chair yoga really helped me and was my favorite part."
Jen Rapanos, LMSW, RCYT is a child and adolescent psychotherapist working in private practice. She is the owner of Well-Bean, LLC which is committed to providing services & programs that foster the emotional & mental well-being of youth. Well-Bean offers child & adolescent psychotherapy, yoga & mindfulness classes, wellness workshops and education & training for parents and educators.
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