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Groveland hosts Mindfulness Family Fun Night


“Mindfulness is paying attention in a particular way using your senses, to what is happening in the present moment, on purpose, with a kind heart, nonjudgmentally,” explained student support counselor Michelle Fuentes.

She presented the Mindfulness Family Fun Night at Groveland Elementary in January. The event continued to acquaint the school community with mindfulness and zones of regulation initiative begun three years ago to strengthen the social-emotional growth and well-being of the students.

Fuentes explained to a full cafeteria of over 150 friends, family and staff that 70 Groveland students in the Mindfulness Masters club volunteer to come before school twice a month to practice mindfulness. They lead mindful moments in their classrooms, on announcements and assemblies. The evening focused on exploring mindfulness benefits including improving self-regulation skills, feelings of self-worth and reducing stress and anxiety.

Groveland Principal Dave Heineman commented, “There has been a very noticeable improvement in our students’ ability to self-regulate behavior. Students sometimes say to me that they need a minute to get to the green zone.”

The zones of regulation program gives children the language to identify what they are noticing. Green zone means focused, calm, happy and alert. Blue zone is used to describe low state of alertness, such as sad, tired, sick or bored. The body and brain are moving slowly and sluggishly.

Fifth-grade student Rowan Shaw who is in the Mindfulness Masters Club lead the friends and family in present moment practice with dragon breathing to anchor spots of nose, belly and lungs. The group dispersed to stations of mindful eating, yoga, Roxy therapy dogs, technology of mindfulness apps and movement mazes.