In our school and community programs, kids and youth are given tools that help them gain greater self-awareness, manage their emotions, and calm down when they are anxious or stressed. They also learn about replacing negative self-talk, 'taking in the good,' and other evidence-based practices that enhance their well-being and kindness to self and others.
We also educate young adults, parents, teachers and community program leaders on reducing stress and growing their own happiness and well-being, and on incorporating practices that grow others' well-being into their work.
Our principal and chief educator, Melody Schalm, facilitates mental well-being programs in school and community settings. Melody is trained in mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) used in health centres world-wide, Mindful Schools and other evidence-based mental well-being curricula and has studied under North American leaders in the field. She is a committed advocate for growing healthy communities and regularly writes in the area and assists organizations with implementing emotional health building initiatives. She is a past certified instructor in the North Vancouver School District for the Roots of Empathy program and former Provincial Advisory Network member for Y Mind, a Ministry of Health funded initiative supporting the mental health needs of BC youth experiencing anxiety.
Melody is currently pursuing an M.A. in Counselling Psychology at the University of British Columbia (UBC), and has received a federal Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council fellowship for her work on reducing bias and growing understanding across cultural divides. She holds a bachelor of arts degree with distinction in psychology from the University of Alberta, and a law degree from UBC.
We have all experienced 'mindful moments,' when we are so in-the-now that our worries, ruminations, to-do list and other distractions of our busy mind temporarily fall by the wayside. These moments may come when we're walking in a beautiful forest or experiencing other wonders of nature, or when we simply catch our child (or ourselves!) doing something new and find ourselves viewing the world with fresh eyes and a sense of wonder. These mindful moments are often accompanied by a feeling of joy and contentment and a sense that 'all is alright,' regardless of our life circumstances.
One goal of mindful awareness training and practice is to make these mindful moments a way of life rather than fleeting encounters with happiness that we may not know how to recapture. With practice, mindfulness can become a lasting trait wherein we experience life's moments with fresh eyes and joy, rather than through a lens that may be clouded by our past experiences and patterns of thought that have developed over time. We become less reactive, and happier.
Our programs incorporate learning to be mindful due to its many research-backed positive effects. Research clearly shows that mindfulness practice actually rewires the brain in ways that lead to reduced stress and greater personal effectiveness, kindness, and happiness. Many of the world's leading child development experts view this training as a key tool for reducing kids' and teens' stress & anxiety and enhancing their mental well-being. Key potential benefits of this training for kids and youth include:
• increased attention and focus
• increased impulse control and self-regulation
• enhanced happiness and personal well being
• increased kindness - both to oneself and to others
• decreased anxiety and depression
• decreased aggression and other problem behaviour
• better school grades and enhanced performance in sports and the arts
Mindful Kids Workshops for K-7
Our interactive in-classroom Mindful Kids workshops help grow students' focus, self-regulation, kindness, happiness and mental well-being. The evidence-based practices taught in our workshops help reduce students' stress, anxiety and negative behavior and grow students’ and teachers’ happiness in life and the classroom.
A teacher's educational workshop is included in the program and accompanying resource materials provide education and implementation tips as well as posters and other materials to assist teachers with incorporating the learning in the classroom. A parents' workshop and resource materials for parents are also provided, enabling parents to continue the learning at home. Our four 50-minute workshops are scheduled over the course of 4 weeks at times that work for you. For younger grades (K-3) we offer eight half-length workshops.
Mindful Kids Workshop for K-7 (One-time Workshop)
We also have a single 75-minute workshop option for classrooms or assemblies. Our workshop gives students tools that help grow their focus, self-regulation, happiness and mental well-being. This is a "happiness intensive" workshop, introducing students to evidence-based areas of positive psychology that have been shown to reduce stress and anxiety and grow happiness, well-being and resilience.
The Unstressed Teen: Workshops for Grades 8-12
Life can be stressful for teens. The demands of school, social media, sports and other extracurricular pursuits and friends, family and other relationships can really pile up. In fact, studies show that teens are the most stressed age group. Further, an estimated 15% of kids and youth have anxiety or another clinically significant mental disorder.
The good news is that learning mindfulness and other simple evidence-based practices can help reduce teens’ stress, anxiety and depressive symptoms while at the same time growing their calmness, joy, self-compassion and resilience. In our school workshops for grades 8-12, students learn about and practice mindfulness, replacing negative self-talk and other evidence-based learning that reduces their anxiety and grows their calmness, positivity and joy. Teens learn practical tools they can use throughout their lives to reduce stress and overwhelm and grow confidence, happiness and resilience.
Professional Development Workshops for Teachers
Our half-day and full-day 'Secure your Own Oxygen Mask First' professional development workshops assist teachers and staff with cultivating their own mindfulness, happiness and well-being, to help them reduce stress and grow presence, calmness, effectiveness and joy in life and the classroom. Schools can elect to include tips for incorporating the learning in the classsroom and mindful communication as well.
Please contact us to enquire about availability.
In-Classroom Workshops for Elementary & Secondary Schools
See our "For Teachers & Schools" tab for the in-classroom workshops we offer for elementary and secondary schools. School PACs often choose to bring in our in-classroom workshops for students of their school.
After-School Programs and Private Instruction for Kids
We provide after-school group classes at public and private schools on Vancouver's North Shore. Through simple instruction and fun practices and games, kids learn practices that reduce their stress and grow their happiness, well-being and kindness to self and others. We also offer our programs by private instruction, including for children and youth with autism (ASD). The BC Ministry of Children and Family Development provides funding to families for our behaviour and social skills training for kids with ASD.
We offer workshops for youth and young adults, including coaches and community program leaders, as well as Girl Guides, Scouts, and other community groups. Through simple instruction and engaging activities, participants learn practices that reduce stress and grow happiness, well-being and kindness to self and others.
Parent Education Workshops & Programs
We offer workshops for school PACs and other parent groups on growing happiness and emotional health in kids (and parents!) Please contact us to enquire about availability.
"With anxiety being such a problem among school-aged children, I think this program is so important to get into all the schools. Our lives and our kids are so busy and programmed, and we all need to be reminded or taught to be mindful and to be grateful, and to learn to self-regulate."
Ann, Grade 4 Teacher, North Vancouver
"The program has definitely helped create a classroom environment where I can get more teaching minutes in. The practices students learned help to calm and settle the class down to be ready to work. I have also benefited personally from the program sessions – they have reminded me to slow down and pay closer attention to life."
Kelly, Grade 3 Teacher, North Vancouver
"My class loved the sessions, they are very open to this learning and take it very seriously. The many everyday practical uses of the learning, customized for kids, was so helpful. You rock!"
Cynthia, Grade 6 Teacher, North Vancouver
"This program offers students the skills to deal with emotions that could escalate, particularly between siblings and friends. We frequently used the deep breathing technique in the classroom afterwards, as a strategy for calming down and engaging the prefrontal cortex to make better decisions."
Reagan, Grade 3 Teacher, North Vancouver
"We so appreciated this program. Our son would come home on such a high every day he had the Mindful Kids classes, and was very sad when the classes ended. He continues to use and make reference to the tools and tips he learned in his workshops, and we will definitely use the parents’ supporting resources provided."
Parent, North Vancouver
"When I was stuck on math questions I took three mindful breaths to calm me down."
Grade 3 student, North Vancouver
"I learned things that helped me when I was scared to go to swimming lessons."
Grade 3 student, North Vancovuer
"When my brother was being really annoying I used the S-T-O-P practice thing to calm me down."
Grade 6 student, North Vancouver
"Thank you so very much for coming to teach us how to be mindful, it has really helped me to calm myself down. I will really miss you teaching us how to be mindful."
Grade 7 student, North Vancouver
If you have any questions simply fill out the form below, phone us at 604-924-1940, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.