A mindfulness club aims to provide students with the necessary tools and techniques they need to be able to learn how to manage their emotions and thoughts, improve their overall well-being, and set them on the path to success.
At Highlands Elementary School, Ms. Peterson and Ms. Warren’s main focus is to connect with students in a meaningful and intentional way. The idea of creating a Mindfulness Club came to mind as they saw the need to empower students to “build their toolboxes” around emotional regulation, self-awareness, and strategies.
“The purpose of having a mindfulness club at Highlands is to give our students tangible strategies to understand their bodies’ needs,” shared Alexia Peterson, School Counselor at Highlands Elementary. “We want them to learn how to self-regulate, and incorporate mindfulness into their day.”
The mindfulness club is structured by rounds. The first round included students from third through fifth grades who met weekly on Friday mornings for one hour for four weeks. The next round will include students from kindergarten through second grade, with a total of 30 students at the end of both rounds. For third grader Briar Springston, being part of the club has helped her become more aware of her feelings. “It has taught me ways to manage my feelings which helps me focus more in class,” she shared.
Teaching mindfulness to students can help shape three critical skills developed in the early grades, such as paying attention and remembering information, being able to shift between tasks, and learning how to treat each other appropriately. These abilities are essential for students as they learn more advanced skills like planning, reasoning, problem-solving, and positive social relationships. Since creating the club, there has been a positive impact on students – their confidence has increased, they are willing to speak more about themselves to others, and they have learned new strategies that give them the ability to solve problems on their own.
Through the mindfulness club, Ms. Peterson’s and Ms. Warren’s hopes are that students at Highlands can develop valuable life skills that will benefit them in and out of the classroom. “I really enjoyed doing a daily weather report of my feelings,” shared Efiri Boakye, fourth grader. “The weather report allows me to check in with my body and emotions, then decide what I need to do to improve my weather or keep it the same.” By fostering a positive and inclusive atmosphere, the mindfulness club continues to provide students with the foundation they need to become successful individuals.