Volume 2, Issue 4 | March 2022
HeartMind e-News: Teach, Learn, Lead
A monthly publication dedicated to trauma-informed, compassionate school practices that help educators, students, and families move toward a sense of wholeness and well-being
A Time to Pause Before Moving Forward
In this month's HeartMind e-News we bring you CEI’s recommendations for how schools can move forward as we transition away from the hardships of 2020 and 2021.

The recommendations come in the form of a proposal to the Biden Administration and the U.S. Department of Education as we seek funding so that schools can conduct pilots for a few months without concern about the impact on academic proficiency. If you would like to be involved, we offer several opportunities, including your nominations for additional schools or districts to include in our “examples of excellence,” and potential participation in pilot programs, with options for your school/district, and options to serve as coaches or as members of advisory committees. See the first article for more information. This month we are also republishing an article by Jenna Wyman on mindfulness and mental health. Her article summarizes results from a meta-analysis of 21 studies where mindfulness is used as an intervention for anxiety, well-being, depression, and stress.

This month we also call your attention to three featured announcements:
  • The March 30 final deadline for our brief Recharging Education Survey
  • CEI’s upcoming Webinar Series on Cultivating Happiness, Resilience and Well-Being. Sign up for the series and receive our book at no additional cost.
  • CEI’s latest book is now also offered as an e-book that can be downloaded for free.
Featured Articles
Welcome to HeartMind e-News, dedicated to translating research and theory to practice, to aid implementation of compassionate practices in schools. Each issue has practical suggestions for teachers, researchers, school administrators, educational policymakers, mental health providers, students, and families. You are also invited to join the HeartMind Community to receive discounts on publications and workshops, networking opportunities, and special offers for virtual consultations and additional resources from the Center for Educational Improvement.
Press the Pause Button
Christine Mason, CEI Executive Director
Aware of the prolonged turmoil and angst that schools are experiencing, The Center for Educational Improvement and its Coalition for the Future of Education have jointly produced a proposal that we are sending to the Biden Administration and the U.S. Department of Education. We are recommending funding for pilots for schools or districts to help carve a path forward. However, instead of suggesting that schools immediately try something new, we suggest funding for student-family-teacher dialogues with coaching from a group of national experts. We are providing the HeartMind Community with an opportunity for early review of this proposal and asking for your feedback, as well as for volunteers who might be interested in participating as pilot sites or as coaches. Read the proposal here.

We'd like your input before we circulate the position paper widely, including submission to the Biden administration and U.S. Department of Education.

  1. Are you in support of the ideas in this paper?
  2. Would you like to add your school or district, or nominate another as an example of excellence?
  3. Would you like to be part of a pilot program?
  4. Do you have other comments?

Please send your responses of "Yes!" to chrismason@edimprovement.org

Using Mindfulness Techniques to Bolster Mental Health in Schools
Jenna Wyman, CEI Intern
This article was first published on March 23, 2021 as a blog post for the Center for Educational Improvement.

With one in five children in the United States likely to be diagnosed with a mental health or learning disorder, it is critical to find feasible and effective solutions to provide aid throughout their education and development (Vanderburg et al., 2020). However, there is a chronic lack of treatment and support for these youth. The universal implementation of mindfulness-based interventions (MBIs) may provide the needed solution to support children as they go through the mental struggles of adolescence. MBIs are rooted in Buddhist psychology and promote the ability to stay present with one’s experiences and to view them without judgement. They can include practices like meditation and yoga, activities that allow the practitioner to focus their attention and be present in the moment (Zenner et al., 2014)... Read more.

Therapeutic Interventions and Systems Change
Stephanie Noel, CEI Intern
Episode 2, titled “Therapeutic Interventions and System Change” of the Cultivating Resilience: A Whole Community Approach for Alleviating Trauma in Schools Podcast welcomes Dr. Sandy Bloom, a psychiatrist and an Associate Professor for Health Management and Policy at the Dornsife School of Public Health at Drexel University. 

In the episode, Dr. Bloom explores and examines what ACE’s (Adverse Childhood Experiences) are and provides solutions to support teachers/caregivers in handling students who have or do experience(d) adversities and/or trauma. She explains that adversities are broad and there are different types. She references a pivotal 1998 study conducted the CDC, which is one of the largest studies to date investigating the ACE’s.

The number of ACE's a child has, 4 being a high amount, can detrimentally impact their development into adolescence, young adulthood, and middle-aged adulthood... Read more.

Upcoming Events and Announcements

Webinar Series on Cultivating Happiness, Resilience, and Well-Being

Sign up by March 30th for the upcoming webinar series and receive our book at no additional cost.

Recharging Education: Brief CEI Survey

Wednesday, March 30th is the final deadline to please complete our survey.

Help CEI understand how we can best support our advocacy for reaches, schools, and students.
Cultivating Resilience: A Whole Community Approach for Alleviating Trauma in Schools

CEI's latest book is now available as a free e-book!

Available Now:

Cultivating Happiness, a new book by Dr. Christine Mason, Jeffrey Donald, Krishna Kaur Khalsa, Michele M. Rivers Murphy, and Valerie Brown.

Here's what readers are saying:

"Cultivating Happiness, Resilience, and Well-Being Through Meditation, Mindfulness, and Movement represents an immense contribution to the field. Beginning with research findings, the authors anticipate and address virtually every what, why, how, who, when, and where question that educators, parents, and the public may have about the book’s subject. Their goal is nothing less than to provide blueprints for an education that truly serves the needs of students and teachers in today’s troubled times. They have succeeded!"

Richard Brady
Author of Walking the Teacher’s Path with Mindfulness and Founder of the Mindfulness in Education Network
"This generously comprehensive manual will open new doors for any educator hoping to share best practices in introducing yoga and mindfulness to their students and schools. Cultivating Happiness, Resilience, and Well-Being Through Meditation, Mindfulness, and Movement fills an important gap in well-being in education work, reminding us of the crucial importance of paying attention to the body, mind, and heart when working with young people. Well-being is increasingly taking center stage in educational redesign initiatives, and the authors rightly emphasize the importance of teachers establishing their own awareness before setting out on this rich and rewarding journey with their students. With this valuable book by their side, teachers will be equipped with a wide range of practical self-care tools and approaches to bring greater well-being to themselves and their community."

Kevin Hawkins and Amy Burke

Learn more about Dr. Mason’s recent and upcoming books and availability on her website www.christine-mason.com