Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Meditation becomes part of the Wellness Curriculum! Thank you Wayland Public Schools Foundation!



The Wayland Middle School Wellness Department is excited to announce that the Wayland Public School Foundation has approved the Getting Centered Guided Meditation grant.  We have the honor of having Helen Rainoff train the Wellness staff, as well as teach the students the powerful tools and benefits of meditation.  Helen was a Science and Biology teacher at Wayland High School from 1978 - 2010 so she is very familiar with the Wayland community.  She has been trained in meditation and has had a daily meditation practice for over 28 years.  While teaching at WHS, Helen integrated teaching meditation into her work with students, offered professional development programs for staff and offered meditation classes for the entire school community during High School Winter Week.
The first class will consists of talking about the benefits of meditation and discuss what experiential guided meditation is.  Students will also discuss and identify stressors, and explain how the body reacts to stress.  Students will be taught stretching exercises before meditation, and how to focus on the breath, muscle relaxation and guided visualization aspects. The second class will discuss other non related mediation relaxation tools.  Muscle relaxation, breath control, and focus meditation will be discussed and taught, as well as talking about ways to include meditation and mindfulness into every day. The third class will be taking the information and tools learned and putting them into practice during class. 
Meditation offers several benefits to children.  It will not only enhance their educational experience, but it will hopefully also inspire students to take the knowledge and tools learned and apply those valuable lessons into their everyday lives.  This creative program will add versatility and enrichment into the curriculum. 

Some of the benefits of meditation are:
•"stress-relieving practices to calm the mind and release physical tension”
•"helping kids boost awareness and control their moods”
•"help to curb kids’ impulsivity”
•"research has also shown school mindfulness programs to be effective in reducing symptoms of depression and anxiety among adolescents”
•"mindfulness programs can aid kids in developing good habits that will help make them happier and more compassionate”
•"greater emotional stability and improved sleep quality, heightened feelings of compassion and greater success achieving weight-loss goals”
•“meditation can improve focus”

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/23/meditation-for-kids_n_3318721.html
http://abcnews.go.com/Health/young-brains-benefit-meditation/story?id=19217997

Middle School students deal with the stress of school, and the many aspects of life on a day to day basis.  If given the tools needed to be able to meditate, they will be able to reduce their stress levels and focus on the important, essential parts of life.  This knowledge and outlet will allow students to grow to their optimal level and potential. 

The Wellness Department thanks the WSPS for this wonderful opportunity to incorporate meditation into our curriculum. 

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