For a decade, Center for Resilience has been offering its nationally recognized, mindfulness-based social emotional learning program for K-12 students, ResilientKids™, to thousands of children and young adults in Rhode Island.
For the students, educators and school communities we serve, the results have been overwhelmingly positive: enhanced school cultures and adults able to access mindfulness tools and approaches to help students transition from one task to the next, manage their emotions, advance academically, and cultivate empathy and compassion in the classroom.
- Principals report lower numbers of behavioral referrals.
- Teachers report more time-on-task and higher levels of concentration among students.
- Students report feeling calm, focused and centered.
Now, starting this summer and throughout the 2020-2021 school year, Center for Resilience is offering its trainings, tools and curriculum to educators and schools online.
For the first time, this means that this effective social-emotional approach will now be available to students and classrooms throughout the country, and not confined to one state.
“COVID-19 has challenged every one of us,” says Carolyn Dalgliesh, chair of the Center for Resilience Board of Directors.
“The global pandemic has also forced all of us who are involved in education, youth development, mindfulness, and holistic well-being organizations to reassess our programs, delivery systems and impact, and how we might be able to serve others virtually on digital platforms. We are excited about our ability to offer our curriculum to even more schools and students in a way that is both effective and cost-efficient.”
Before the pandemic, Center for Resilience instructors would visit schools, usually two times a week, and hold mindfulness classes with students. Teachers would participate as well, acquiring valuable skills they could use throughout the school day.
With our online program, schools and teachers will still have the proven curriculum that is aligned with CASEL and Common Core standards, but now it is available online for teachers to use with the class in-person, or to assign through distance learning. A password-protected website will make it easy to access from anywhere, and the corresponding teacher guide will share additional strategies for facilitating these practices and activities with students or advisees. Available Pre-K through 12th grade, the age-appropriate content will engage students throughout the full school year.
“We’ve thought about how to carefully spread our program beyond Rhode Island, and have had success doing some school trainings in neighboring states and co-hosting a national Mindfulness Conference to raise awareness about the importance of mindfulness as a life skill and a key component of social-emotional development in schools,” says Vanessa Weiner, Center for Resilience founder and executive director.
But it wasn’t until this March, when Rhode Island schools closed and schools and service providers were pushed to begin offering classes and tools online to students, that it became clear that expanding our mindfulness curriculum in a smart way was truly achievable.
Mindfulness is shown to reduce trauma and implicit bias. “Given the complexities and trauma of the pandemic and the heightened focus on racial justice and educational equity, we strongly believe that the mindfulness skills we are sharing are more needed now than ever before,” Weiner says.
“We believe our approach will help students, teachers, and parents when classes resume this fall—in person, online or some combination of both.”