Implementation of a teacher-led mindfulness program in a low-income pre- and early-elementary school as part of a trauma-responsive, resilience-building community initiative
Children living in disadvantaged communities experience higher rates of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) which can lead to poor health outcomes. Mindfulness has been shown to help individuals who are exposed to cumulative stress build resilience and psychological well-being. This pilot study aimed to determine teachers’ perceptions of a 6-week school-based, teacher-led mindfulness program in a Gainesville, Florida pre- and early elementary low-income school. The program was conducted as part of a trauma-responsive, resilient community initiative. Teachers were trained on a set of mindfulness skills and were asked to lead practices for 10-15 min per day, 3 or more times per week for 6 weeks. Teachers completed qualitative interviews to determine their perceptions of the program. A total of eight teachers participated, with 124 students receiving the program. Teachers reported high impressions of the program and that students were calmer and more relaxed as a result of the program. Training teachers to deliver mindfulness practices as part of their normal classroom activities is realistic, easily adaptable, and can lead to adoption of a community-wide mindfulness framework. Diffusing mindfulness programs more broadly as part of a preventive, trauma-responsive community has the potential to lessen the effects of ACEs.
King, L. M., Lewis, C., Ritchie, D. M., Carr, C., & Hart, M. W. (2021). Implementation of a teacher-led mindfulness program in a low-income pre- and early-elementary school as part of a trauma-responsive, resilience-building community initiative. J Community Psychol. doi:10.1002/jcop.22557