Mindful Moments in My Classroom Funded Grants

Donating profits from my book, funds have been allocated for eight grants to support projects to promote mindfulness and social emotional learning (SEL) in schools. Funds were provided to educators for materials and any other resources needed to carry out their projects. The intent was to provide funds for projects that would typically require educators to use personal funds. The focus was intentionally broad to inspire educators to think about novel ways they might promote mindfulness and SEL. Projects could focus on teacher professional growth and/or students at the classroom or school level. Projects were funded in NY, PA, WA and CA. Some projects were one-time trainings while others are ongoing using grant funds as seed money to start continuing programs.

Descriptions of Grants Funded for Implementation Beginning in 2019

Grant to: Amy Edelstein, Founder Inner Strength Foundation/Urban Affairs Coalition

School: South Philadelphia High School & Furness High School, PA; Grade level: 9-12

Project title: Inner Strength Secondary Stress Toolkit for Educators Training

Project goals: Conduct training for about 100 educators from 2 high schools during regular professional development time. Our objective is to pilot and gather feedback on our newly-developed program for faculty in two schools where we currently support students with mindfulness classes via the Inner Strength Teen Program. In this program educators will gain an understanding of secondary traumatic stress, how it may affect them, and ways to ameliorate the physical, psychological, and emotional burden of working in high-stress environments. Training includes: 1) An overview of self-care techniques with an emphasis on mindfulness for stress reduction; 2) A research overview of how mindfulness works to alleviate stress and create calm in the workspace; 3) Foundational mindfulness techniques that participants can implement at school and at home to help release stress and maintain a sense of well-being and clarity of mind; 4) A 50-tool Self Care Toolkit and a methodology to create actionable self-care regimes that are integrated into the workday and regular home routines.

Timeline: Spring 2019

Funds: For Self Care Toolkit materials, mailings of program materials and surveys, and refreshments


Grant to: Christy Anana, School Counselor

School: Cascade View Elementary, WA; Grade level: K-6

Project title: Mindfulness Strategies for Self-Care Educator Training

Project goals: Develop and offer class to an estimated 25 participants to meet for 30 minutes before school on Fridays for 10-weeks. My training goals include: 1) Strengthen educators’ resilience to stress, particularly in the workplace; 2) Foster a culture of compassion within the school and cultivate hope for educators; 3) Provide educators with mindfulness skills that improve interactions with students and colleagues and overall well-being; 4) Support educators in incorporating mindfulness practices into their daily school schedule and skills into classroom environments to reduce stress.

Timeline: January-March 2019

Funds: For books for self-care library, gratitude journals, materials and refreshments for class sessions, gift cards for teachers for completing assessment, and stipend for instructor

View more about this Featured Completed Project


Grant to: Morgan Genelly, Teacher

School: Bella Vista Elementary School, CA; Grade level: 4/5 Mild/Moderate Special Day Class

Project title: Implement Wise Expressions Play (W.E. Play) Program with Yoga and Mindfulness Activities

Project goals: Have instructor teach the W.E. Play curriculum in my classroom with 45 minute classes, two times per month for a 5-month period, and also support my professional and personal growth through monthly sessions. The goal of the W.E. Play program is to encourage the development of yoga and mindfulness skills to reduce anxiety, anger, and negative self-talk. The program also aims to increase students’ capacities for self-regulation, self-compassion, empathy, focus, mind-body awareness, social-emotional learning, and physical fitness.

Timeline: January-June 2019

Funds: For instructor (Leyna Roget Brabant founder of Calm Mind, Happy Heart) to teach the W.E. Play curriculum and printing of materials


Grant to: Mindy Vierra, Teacher

School: Ina Arbuckle Elementary, CA; Grade level: 5

Project title: Contemplations: Social-emotional Wellness through Journal Writing & Poetry

Project goals: Provide students with personal journals to decorate and keep their poetry as well as ideas, musings, rantings, or anything they want to write about. My goal is to have my students improve their social-emotional wellness through journal writing and poetry. I want to foster a climate where students can write just for themselves and have a place where they can look back at their writing over time to see how they’ve grown emotionally.

Timeline: January-June 2019

Funds: For purchasing student journals


Grant to: Rachel Vatannia, Intervention Specialist and Lang Luong, Vice Principal

School: Woodrow Wilson Elementary School, CA; Grade level: K-5

Project title: Creation of a “Mindfulness Lab” to Replace Detentions

Project goals: Design a meditative space for students to attend facilitated Mindful Clinics instead of recess detentions. We will dedicate a calm and welcoming space where students will learn to acknowledge, feel, communicate, and reflect on their emotions and behaviors. By taking a proactive approach to behavioral support and intervention we hope to decrease behavioral referrals and recess detentions by teaching students to self-regulate, monitor and correct behaviors, as well as develop greater empathy. We will teach students tools and skills to help them relax, refocus, and reflect. Students will learn to use mindfulness practices, such as mindful breathing, mindful movement, and meditation.

Timeline: Fall 2019-ongoing

Funds: For all materials to design a dedicated space for the Mindfulness Lab including Mind Up Curriculum K-2 and 3-5; yoga mats, balls & straps; art materials; and aroma therapy, plant therapy, and various other sensory materials


Grant to: Christine Atkins, Teacher

School: Franklin Elementary School, CA; Grade level: 3

Project title: Finding Moments of Mindfulness—Peace, Kindness, Love

Project goals: Conduct themed lessons with four 3rd grade classes for 8 weeks using Todd Parr books (The Thankful Book, The Feelings Book, It’s Okay to Be Different, It’s Okay to Make Mistakes, The I Love You Book, Be Who You Are, The Peace Book, Love the World). I will also use aromatherapy to explore ‘paying attention’ with the sense of smell and how different scents are connected to different feelings. My goal is to Increase the capacity of students to practice kindness and love toward themselves and each other. I plan to continue using the resources in future years.

Timeline: Spring 2019-ongoing

Funds: For purchasing series of Todd Parr books, essential oils, and Kids World Yoga DVDs for teachers to share


Grant to: Michelle Ross, Teacher

School: South Bay Elementary School, NY; Grade level: 4

Project title: Professional Development: Mission Be Teacher Training Course

Project goals: Learn practices for self-care and more ways to bring mindful practices to students, then share practices with my colleagues. I have already established a regular mindfulness practice in my class using

mindful activities from the Calm Classroom training I attended which I want to continue building. We are also taking two mindful breaks a day and I have “Student Ambassadors” leading the mindful moment. After completing this training, I plan to hold student mindfulness workshops after school. I will also volunteer to have teacher mindfulness sessions before school to build a network of mindfulness teachers to continue to strengthen our practice together.

Timeline: Spring 2019-ongoing

Funds: For taking Mission Be Teacher Training, materials to design mindfulness jars for workshop for students, and books for a teacher mindful book share before school


Grant to: Cristen Miller, Teacher

School: Roosevelt Elementary, CA; Grade level: 4

Project title: Professional Development: Mindful Educator Essentials Course

Project goals: Take Mindful Educator Essentials Course to learn mindfulness practices initially to find ways to better manage my stress and provide tools for my students for dealing with their stress. I also plan to share a monthly strategy with the other upper grade teachers at my school at regular monthly meetings.

Timeline: Spring 2019-ongoing

Funds: For taking Mindful Educator Essentials Course