Mindfulness for Middle School
Why Mindfulness and Why Now?
Last year NEED2 introduced over 450 middle school students and their teachers to the practice of mindfulness as a vehicle to expand mental health literacy in younger grades and provide youth-friendly tools to combat stress and anxiety. The program is supported by research which demonstrates the benefits of supporting the social and emotional development of young people.
The intention of the program is predicated on the following concepts:
- There is a positive link between mindfulness as a positive coping strategy for dealing with stress and anxiety.
- Mindfulness is a gentle and accessible practice which enables students to become self-aware, notice what is, experience how stressful events can impact emotions and how the response to those emotions impact actions and behaviour.
- Mindful and attuned facilitators can introduce these concepts in a fun, interactive and secular way, supporting the safety and learning of all students.
The program is composed of 3 hours of instructional time facilitated by a NEED2 staff member or volunteer. Each class receives 6 sessions. The cost of this program is $300 per class.
The curriculum is based on the Mindful School’s Curriculum. Each practice plan is derived from a myriad of teachings including MBSR, Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction and Registered Yoga Teacher Training. NEED2 believes in a strength-based learning approach, inviting students into an open dialogue, encouraging curious participation by providing emotionally safe, inclusive, youth-centered exploration.
The funding for the pilot was provided by the Vancouver Foundation. Program funding provided by United Way of Greater Victoria and FirstWest Foundation.
1 Kimberley A. Schonert-Reichl, “Effectiveness of the Mindfulness Education (ME) Program: Research Summary, 2005-2008,” University of British Columbia (November 2008)