Stephanie is a Teach for America special education teacher, and an Ambassador with Bassnectar. She knew her students needed more support.
She applied to bring mindfulness education – breathing and yoga – to her students, and to create a Haven sensory & de-escalation room as a space for healing in a PA elementary school where families have been heavily impacted by the opioid epidemic. She received $14,000 from Be Interactive, and in addition to her full time role as a teacher, worked hard to make this project everything it could be for her students.
The results made a big difference in her school, and she won an award from Teach for America.
The Haven has been receiving heavy use and lots of love. In this video a student, Julian, gives us a tour.
Stephanie won an award from Teach for America for her work on this project.
Also, we would like to extend a very special thank you to the yoga & mindfulness instructor Pasquale Cairo, who brought fun and wonderful instruction to the students, giving them tools to handle stress that can serve them their whole lives.
Some students were so inspired, they wanted to lead their own breathing exercises.
I have had multiple students with family members in jail, family members involved in violence or shootings, students whose families are in deep poverty, and students who are experiencing homelessness.
Overall our students face a significant amount of trauma. Also our student population is 95% Hispanic, and therefore our students also face trauma and discrimination based on the current political climate—and many have expressed feeling stress or fear over family members being deported. We also have a very high rate of special education students (25%+) at our school.
One of my 8th grade special education students was so inspired by the mindfulness program, he did a whole project on it! It was amazing to hear an older student talking about the benefits of mindfulness, and the impact he saw it make on the younger students!