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BAM is a program to be used in elementary schools that combines yoga, mindfulness meditation, and self-care practices. BAM invites students to use breathing and movement techniques to help bring their awareness back to the present, to refocus themselves when their attention begins to drift, and to help relax themselves when emotions bubble up. Our breathing and movement practices can be used before testing or other important events in the classroom. Eventually, the goal is for students (and also teachers) to be able to use the breathing practices whenever they need them. 2019 marks the second year of offering BAM to local schools. We continued to work with the four Baltimore City Schools that were a part of the 2018 pilot.
HLF staff-led class featuring yoga, meditation, breathing, tai-chi, centering, and other mindfulness techniques
Come visit HLF’s programs in action in Baltimore. Participants will have the chance to see any of HLF’s programs in action. Programs include elementary school, middle school, high school, school wide interventions, small group interventions, after school programs, and programs facilitated during the school day. Participants will visit programs accompanied by one of HLF’s senior instructors and have the opportunity to ask questions about implementation, engagement, program development, and other topics
A reciprocal teaching model is used to train teachers, administrators, staff, and students to lead classroom-based mindfulness practices. Staff learns to develop their own mindfulness practice and ways to prompt and encourage students to lead the classes in these practices. Students also become facilitators; thereby, ensuring self-sustaining nature of the program. Schools also receive prompt cards for practices and implementation. HLF staff works with the entire student and staff population to ensure the entire school is introduced to the practice. Piloted at Abraham Lincoln Elementary School in Madison, Wisconsin.
Our flagship after school program, Holistic Me, completed its 17th year of service. We provide yoga and mindfulness instruction, academic tutoring, and enrichment activities to 41 Pre-K to 5th graders after school each day, with an emphasis on teaching positive coping reactive and proactive life skills. This year’s enrichment partners focused on academics and yoga.
For the fifth year in a row, we expanded our Holistic Me after school program into a 4-week Summer Camp at Coppin State University. The Holistic Me Summer Camp provided enrichment activities, yoga, and healthy meals for 76 Baltimore youth. The program provided a positive place for kids to spend their summer days. The enrichments offered at Holistic Me Summer Camp included Dance, Creative Development Studios, Mix Media, Fashion, Robotics, Cooking with STEM, Basketball, Sewing and Design. Yoga, meditation, and a Restorative Practice community circle were used daily to teach mindfulness, the importance of exercise, problem solving, and working together as a community. Over the course of the summer camp, students and parents went on field trips to to the Washington DC Zoo, the movies and sky zone. Students were able to learn through fun, imagination, exploration, and creativity.
In 2019, HLF operated 14 Mindful Moment programs that were embedded in local schools. We served 350 students at Robert W. Coleman Elementary School and approximately 1100 students at Patterson High School in Baltimore, Maryland. The Mindful Moment program enables students to integrate mindfulness into their daily school lives by beginning and closing the day with techniques for calming the body and mind, using HLF’s approach to breathing techniques and yoga postures. Throughout the day, students may be referred by themselves or by teachers to visit the Mindful Moment Room, where HLF staff members provide individual coaching on techniques that will support emotional self- regulation.
The program offers an excellent alternative to other disciplinary approaches. Our students learn tools that not only provide skills to enhance their school performance, but life-long learnings that will serve them for the remainder of their lives. Robert W. Coleman is located in the epicenter of where the Freddie Gray riots occurred, and last year the Mindful Moment Program continued to assist in recording zero suspensions.
Holistic Roots is a comprehensive youth development program tailored for our Holistic Me graduates as they transition to middle and high school. Holistic Roots expands upon our signature mindfulness-based programming, integrating mentorship, advocacy, enrichment and wellness activities to support and empower youth as they navigate adolescence.