New Middle School Club Teaches Mindfulness

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Finding that his students are benefiting from mindfulness activities in the classroom, Middle School seventh-grade ENL and AIS teacher Darren Dunn has begun offering students the opportunity to participate in meditation activities outside the school day in the form of a new meditation club. 

The new club meets each Monday and during each session, Mr. Dunn, who has practiced meditation for several years and has completed mindfulness courses and workshops, coaches the students in different mindful activities. 

The sessions start with a discussion on daily stressors teens face, the effect of stress on brain and overall health and techniques that students can use to handle stressors.  Students then practice guided breathing techniques and imaginary exercises. Most recently, club members participated in a mindful eating meditation where students became attuned to the texture and taste of Hersey Kisses. Mr. Dunn also incorporates the Mind-Up curriculum. 

Mind-Up is the Hawn Foundation’s mindfulness program that blends breathing techniques, brain breaks and sensory activities to help students focus. It is a program that is also being used in the Phillips Avenue School.  

“Based on my own experience, it’s crucial for students to have the opportunity to create their own space and observe what their minds are doing,” said Mr. Dunn. “It helps them to focus and leads them to better overall physical and emotional health.”