Stress reduction in 2 high-need classrooms in RI

 
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Yesterday I walked into one of my most behavior challenged 4th grade classes at 9:00am. It was a more unsettled and chaotic morning environment than usual, where I hoped to attempt an excercise out in the hallway. While it took a few extra moments to connect with each of the students in the circle that morning, we did ultimately get to do our silent walking exercise. 
During the activity, the kids focused on just that moment, insulated from anxiety over the future and stress of the past. By giving these students 5 minutes and a kinesthetic experience outside of their classroom environment, everyone experienced a palpable difference as they filed back into their desks. At 9:30, I left this room now full of calm, focused students who were ready to learn.
Toxic stress faces most of the students we're working with, impacting brain development and function, and leaving them prone to stress-related illness. These conditions aren't compatible with learning. Mindfulness teaches kids to cope with stress so they can focus in the classroom, and make decisions that positively impact their wellbeing well into adulthood. Our goal is to create learning ready schools so students are ready to learn.
Thanks to your support two of the classrooms in the school where this story took place will be able to receive continued instruction for the rest of the year! 
With Gratitude,
- Vanessa
P.S. Please consider further support of our work so that the rest of the 4th grades can also receive this instruction during the 2014-15 school year. 

Attachments:
breathing with a Hoberman Sphere
breathing with a Hoberman Sphere

"Wow, my headache went away after we did that breathing" says a 10th grader after class with ResilientKids last week. Imagine how different her school day is now that she feels well, and how empowering it is to have this tool whenever needed?! 

These are the types of responses we have been getting to our work, and it's only September! Our 16 instructors are out in over 70 classrooms all over Rhode Island reaching about 2,500 students each week to integrate tools for stress-reduction, emotional balance, and compassion into the school day. These simple practices are facilitating learning readiness, while reducing school violence and behavior referrals to the office, which means kids are in their seats learning!

Thank you for joining us on this journey to resilience as we work in partnership to create a self-sustaining culture of fortitude for school, career, and life. We envision a community where all people live lives of strength, purpose, and compassion.

In this season of transitions, we wish you much resilience.

With gratitude,
- Vanessa

Links:

Practicing Stress Reduction
Practicing Stress Reduction

At Carl Lauro Elementary School in Providence, RI, the Principal reports an 86% reduction in school violence, and she attributes that to their work with ResilientKids, facilitating mindfulness with students and teachers! By reducing stress, students and teachers both are less likely to lash out, contributing to a more learning-ready environment where each can better focus on the rich pedagogy in the school.

These skills are even being utilized outside of school. One student reported, "In football, I used to walk off the field when I was mad, but now I take deep breaths and stay in the game".

Please help us continue to spread these encouraging results by supporting the expansion of stress reduction though mindfulness at Carl Lauro Elementary.

Mindfulness practice
Mindfulness practice

An instructor shared a story with us the other day of a kindergarten boy who tried to protect his mom with a small stick when witnessing her being beaten by the boyfriend who entered the house in violation of the restraining order.

Our instructor's response was, "I can't fix the violent boyfriend. I can't help the mother make better choices. I can't solve the gang or gun problem. What I CAN DO, thanks to ResilientKids, is  offer a proven way to manage these stresses, interrupt the cycle of violence,  and be a model for a different way of being in the world."

You, too, can help by helping us expand our reach in urban schools who need us most. The students we've worked with this year are showing a 23% reduction in stress, and a 30% or more reduction in behavior referrals!

Let's keep kids in their seats, ready to learn, and building compassion and empathy as they grow to become our future leaders. 

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Project Leader

Vanessa Weiner

Providence, RI United States

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Map of Stress reduction in 2 high-need classrooms in RI