Shanthi Project - Mindfulness in EASD

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Contact Information

Organization Information

Project Summary

Our program sought to turn to our relationships with community partners to affect change within our classrooms for our students, families, and school community. We worked closely with one our of school based community partners, Family Connections, to bring in the Shanthi Project - an organization dedicated to bringing mindfulness and therapeutic yoga to the Lehigh Valley. We identified Paxinosa Elementary school's K-1 classrooms as where to implement the Shanthi meditation and mindfulness program. Through a combination of adjusting to school life and structure as well as as a temporary residency in the Easton Area Middle School due to an ongoing reconstruction project at Paxinosa, we found an increased occurrence of behavioral challenges in some of our youngest students. We asked questions and conducted teacher/student surveys to identify a desire for bringing in a mindfulness program. Additionally, we wanted to work with our younger students in the hopes of ingratiating our younger minds to practicing mindfulness as they advanced throughout the Easton Area School District.

Project Goal

Our goal is to help address challenges in the classroom with a program beneficial for the mind, body, and soul. We hoped to provide students with the skills to meditate and reflect on their lives and daily challenges to push students to be mindful of themselves and of others. Furthermore, we hope that these skills are carried along with students in their lives outside of the classroom. Implementing this program also exposed school leaders, such as teachers, to the practice of mindfulness as a method that they could incorporate into their classrooms and beyond. We your support we were able to provide an mindfulness courses for an inaugural class of students at Paxinosa Elementary School. The practice of mindfulness has continued at Paxinosa and is also being implemented through the Shanthi Project at two of our other schools Ada B. Cheston Elementary and the Easton Area Academy.

Promotional Methods

All K-1 classrooms at Paxinosa Elementary participated in the Shanthi Program which occurred over a period of two weeks with two twenty minute sessions per week.

Project Challenges

Some of the challenges included educating and exposing our younger students to the concept of mindfulness. This simply took time as students become increasingly comfortable and enthusiastic about mindfulness. Miss Brooke from the Shanthi Project brought a calm and patient attitude and helped students to learn with her positive feedback, breathing techniques, and poses.

Project Results

Our results were encouraging and successful. We asked for teacher testimonials on their experience with students post-mindfulness sessions. They noticed and reported a more relaxed and focused students. They remarked that students were increasingly able to recognize, express, and understand their own feelings as well as of others. As the program progressed, students also demonstrated continuity and remembered each of the poses and strategies week after week. A number of our teachers still continue to use mindfulness as a part of their daily routine.

Organization Type

Academic Institution

Types of Practices

  • Academic Institution
  • Early Education
  • K-12 Schools
  • Workplace

Target Age Ranges

  • Children

Gender(s)

  • All

Race/Ethnicity

  • All

Project Service Type

  • Education / Training / Resource Development

Project Content Area

  • Behavioral Health
  • Health (general)
  • Health Equity
  • Mental Health
  • Nutrition
  • Other

Project/Program Care Team Target Population

  • Health Educators
  • Other

Counties Served

  • Northampton

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