NITC will install tree ceilings in Title1 schools in Latino communities in East LA. COVID-19 has disproportionally affected this population, traumatizing its children. Mental health experts have voiced concern over mitigating anxiety in these children as they return to school. Research shows tree images help students settle down, engage and focus. In our pilot study, students report that tree ceilings make them happy and are the reason they like coming to school. Endorsed by TREE Foundation.
As of Sept. 1, COVID-19 has affected 83,755 Latinos in Los Angeles County, resulting in 2,759 deaths. This pandemic has disrupted and traumatized thousands of Latino families and their children. Educators and school administrators have voiced concern over inadequate mental health resources to help children deal with anxiety in returning to the classroom. Installing tree ceiling murals in elementary classrooms creates a calming environment for both teachers and students.
Our pilot study placed tree ceiling murals in PreK-2nd grade classrooms. Mindfulness activities were provided to help teachers incorporate the tree murals into their daily activities. Teachers reported that students settle down and engage more quickly giving them more time on task. Students asked to sit under the trees when feeling anxious or frustrated. They say the trees make them happy and are the reason they like coming to school.
NITC is informed by 40 years of science outlining the benefits of classrooms with nature views. Research shows that viewing images of trees decreases anxiety and boosts academic achievement, creativity, test scores, grade point averages and socio-emotional development. We have partnered with UNC Greensboro to explore and measure the impact of tree ceilings on cognition and behavior. The results will provide the basis for boosting education in urban schools attended by 23 million children.
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