Volume 1, Issue 5 | April 2021
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
Culture of Courage

Preparing youth for the future largely involves building a culture that supports them in being courageous. This environment will allow them to take risks, innovate, and explore—all necessary actions for their success.

Students this month share tales of their own acts of courage in school—from feeling anxiety on camera yet still showing up to class, to taking risks by asking questions, to learning and implementing strategies to help deal with school-related anxiety by celebrating little things along the path to larger things. We all need to act courageously, whether through small acts or large. Courage helps us grow. So how can we help create a culture of courage for youth?

This month CEI looks at “a culture of courage.” What can we do to support students in being courageous? How can we create a community that helps them feel secure in doing so?
Join Our HeartMind Adventure!
Our HeartMind Adventure is a series of practical exercises designed to give you, your colleagues, and your students opportunities to deepen understanding and further the practice of our 5Cs:

In March, we took you on a HeartMind Adventure asking you to become more aware of your confidence and self-care. This month's HeartMind Adventure connects our 5Cs to courageTo begin, review any notes you have from last month and begin this month's adventure by answering a few basic questions. Learn more.
Each edition of HeartMind e-News offers a research-based perspective to help you understand more about what can be done to further trauma-informed, compassionate school practices that help educators, students, and families move toward a sense of wholeness and well-being.
Just starting our HeartMind Adventure?

Review our steps on this self-awareness journey:

Featured Article
Our HeartMind e-News connects the relationship of heart centered learning and mindfulness to current research and circumstances. Our goal is to provide our readers with concrete opportunities to further implementation of heart centered practices in their schools and districts. These opportunities will include suggestions for reflection, journaling, dialoguing, and compassionate classroom activities. These exercises often start with adults, working on our own knowledge and skills, before we turn to students.
A Culture of Courage: Youth Speak, We Listen.
Melissa Patschke, EdD, Director, CEI Coalition for the Future of Education
“Courage is the first of the human qualities,
Because it is a quality which guarantees all the others.”
~ Winston Churchill
As educators, parents, community members, why should we listen to youth? It’s much easier to tell them what to think and how to behave. Yet, the world we are preparing them for will only be ours for a brief moment of time. The majority of their performance will be accomplished without us. Now is the time to use our resources to push and lift our youth into a culture of courage that allows for risks, innovation, and exploration (Comstock, 2018).

If we want our younger generations to be critical thinkers, problem solvers, and idea authors, then it’s time for them to be heard. If we truly listen, they will be empowered, and we will be informed. By hearing our youth, we will realize the impact of their potential and the future influence of their fresh, intelligent perspectives (McLaughlin, 2018).

It takes a tremendous amount of courage to speak up, establish safe boundaries, and challenge the status quo. Our youth require support in their homes, schools, and communities—support that allows them to be vulnerable—which will help them to be courageous. If our youth are willing to have a courageous voice, it’s our role to be sure they are supported and heard (Kaur, 2018). Read more.
Upcoming Events and Announcements
Practical tips to guide your school/district through trauma and stress as they seek to advance equity and justice.

Join our research-based webinars to learn about experiencing joy and healing through mindful self-care.
Wed., April 28, 4:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. EDT
The need to include student voice in education reform efforts is a critical step toward developing more equitable schools. While youth are at the center of all school reform efforts, they are seldom treated as partners in the process.

Join this session, moderated by student leaders at the Center for Educational Improvement (CEI)—including CEI Intern Cristine Chen and Mehir Badlani, a junior at CB South High School—for a discussion with a racially diverse group of high school youth as they describe the impact of COVID-19 and their recommendations for both improving education and also alleviating the stress youth have faced. 
Learn about the Coalition for the Future of Education and read and sign-on to our letter to the Biden Administration and Secretary of Education Dr. Miguel Cardona requesting support for actions that will address our vision for the future of education.
Our Vision

We envision a world that leans in with heart and compassion for self, others, and our environment, where people and institutions are dedicated to expanding conscious acts of caring, building resiliency, and advancing learning, equity, and justice.

We envision safe and equitable schools with education that serves as the foundation for our humanity; it is flexible and empowering. There is room for adventure, students drive their own learning, learning and self-understanding are celebrated, and communities support their individual and collective self-care, and well-being.
Executive Functioning, Mindfulness, and Heart Centered Leadership

Learn from our panel of experts, including Mindfulness Practices co-authors Drs. Christine Mason and Michele Rivers Murphy, about research-based practices to enhance student focus, academic achievement, decision-making, and critical thinking skills as we transition back into classrooms and continue hybrid and remote learning.
Program Spotlight
Feeling overwhelmed with the volume of potential SEL activities? Join our HeartMind Community to access trauma-responsive, compassionate school practices based on CEI's Heart Centered Learning framework.

Join our HeartMind Community to understand more about seamlessly weaving mindfulness and Heart Centered Learning throughout your school day.
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