“I do not believe that a student is satisfied to act, I believe that there is always a reason” said Kylie Harris, Warren County Career Center health and medical instructor.
Learning2Breathe – a research-based mindfulness program for teens to deal with stress – is introduced by Youngsville High School and shared with the entire district.
“Mrs. (Amy) Beers really did her research and chose an effective program for her school. As you can see, everyone here has shown initiative by just being there.” said Dr Brenda Nelson, a Certified Learning to Breathe instructor based in Chicago.
Nelson recently visited Youngsville High School to train teachers, administrators and school staff in the district to seek mindfulness – observing one’s thoughts and feelings without judging – in a school environment.
“It reinforced the positivity that things can have at all ages. Ms. Beers (principal of Youngsville High School) and I are always thinking about what can benefit children, but it can impact more than just the children, ” said Ericka Alm, principal of Eisenhower High School.
Nelson showed participants how to better manage emotions through physical and mental activities.
Meditation included “Pay attention to your breathing, let go of your thoughts and feelings while having stability and balance”, Nelson said.
“Before you said anything, I was already feeling this connection deep inside me” said Lindsey Sanford, a teacher at Youngsville High School.
Teachers, parents and students were surveyed, Beers noted, regarding the stress of in-school and out-of-school students.
“I asked to try something different,” Beers said. “High school students need something different.”
Learn to BREATHE (L2B) is a mindfulness-based program created for classroom or group environments. Mindfulness is the practice of becoming aware of one’s present moment experience with compassion and openness as the basis for wise action. The program aims to strengthen attention and regulate emotions, cultivate healthy emotions like gratitude and compassion, expand the repertoire of stress management skills, and help participants integrate mindfulness into daily life. . Each lesson includes age-appropriate discussions, activities, and opportunities to practice mindfulness in groups. L2B has been studied in many settings and used with adolescents and adults. L2B was recognized in the CASEL 2015 guide (Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning) as meeting the search criteria for effective SEL programs.
Youngsville High School, in this case, may incorporate L2B during its consultation period, which has been used in the past for school clubs.
“As a student who participated in this training, I strongly support the inclusion of this in our program,” said Savannah Upton, junior of Youngsville. “A lot of students are struggling behind closed doors and I think this program will give them the opportunity to have their voices heard.
The 2020-2021 school year has certainly been different, to say the least, and included COVID quarantines for groups of students and, for about a month at the start of the year, for the whole. of the student body.
“It starts with skill building, then deepens and applies those skills”, said Rebecca Yeager, a teacher at Youngsville High School.
Every teacher and staff member volunteered for the program; Holly Burt, a teacher at Youngsville High School, said she participated this week to better understand how students would feel about the program.
The Learning2Breathe program has many goals accustomed to all ages involved. The main goal of the program is to provide universal and developmentally appropriate mindfulness instruction to highlight mental health and well-being. The program is filled with simple but important skills for bringing mindfulness into everyday life. By entering the Learning2Breathe program, you will learn techniques for dealing with stress, enhancing attention, and fully improving emotion management skills.
“Raising awareness about something can change it completely,” Nelson said.
Beers added that the program was chosen with the “The whole group of students” in mind.
“This program is individualized in a very focused way so that students can draw on their own personal experiences in the lessons,” she said. “In academics, students will be able to apply what they have learned before assessments, activities and projects inside and outside the classroom. Our student-athletes can take a moment to increase their personal awareness prior to competition. This training also continues in personal struggles in that students are encouraged to recognize their thoughts and feelings for who they are, to recognize and move on.