An Innovative Education-Based Initiative
Providing students and teachers in
with greater physical and emotional wellbeing, paving the way for compassionate classrooms, and creating space for academic success.
Many schools throughout the country are recognizing the benefits of integrating mindfulness in the classroom, but are faced with figuring out how to succesfully educate their school staff while providing a foundation in mindfulness to their students.
At The School Mindfulness Project, we’ve developed an educational model that aspires to improve the physical, emotional and academic wellbeing of entire school communities by providing sustainable mindfulness education and mindful movement education to staff and students on a school-wide basis.
School Mindfulness Project founder and CEO, Gail Silver, has been providing yoga and mindfulness to children in schools since 2002 through Philadelphia’s Yoga Child Inc. As a mindfulness educator and author with first hand experience reaching students through engaging curriculum, Gail knows the that the key to implementing and sustaining mindfulness in schools is to support and educate all students and all staff, from inception to complete integration. MIndful schools are comprised of mindful students and mindful teachers. The School Mindfulness Project is here to help you find the mindfulness in your school.
Innovation and Sustainability
We Serve The Whole School
We don’t work with select classrooms and teachers, but instead, serve entire schools. We believe that mindfulness breeds more mindfulness, and that fostering this education on a school-wide basis, allows for wellbeing, kindness and compassion to permeate the school community, across grade-levels, from student to teacher, from teacher to student, from classroom to neighborhoods, and beyond.
We Provide A Physical Advantage
Our curriculum incorporates movement for the body as an accompaniement to stillness for the mind. This enables students to be engaged and receptive to the mindfulness component of our program.
Our Teachings Are Easily Integrated Into The School Day
When staff and students complete our 16-week mindfulness education and mindful movement training, they are prepared to integrate these beneficial practices into the school day, even after we’ve gone.
Our Program Includes Integration Support
Upon completion of the training, our staff remains on-site to assist your staff as they begin to incorporate mindfulness in the classroom.
Our Founder, CEO and Board of Directors
We’re very excited to announce our founding board of directors, a group of esteemed Philadelphia professionals and educators, without whom our efforts and services would not be possible.
Founder and CEO: Gail Silver, JD, E-RYT, RYT, YACEP
Officers and Directors:
President: Marsha I Cohen, Esquire
Vice President: Katayun Jaffari, Esquire
Treasurer: Bidi Mcsorely, M.D.
Secretary: Francesca Ifantiedes, Esquire
Kimberly A. Fleisher, M.Ed
Esther Wyss-Flamm, Ph.D, M.Ed, E-RYT
501 (c) (3) Status
The School Mindfulness Project has applied for tax exempt, 501(c)(3) status. Support can currently be provided to The SMP, and your contributions will be tax-deductible at such time as we receive 501(c)(3) status. While our tax-exempt status is pending, you may instead wish to support our initiative by making donations directly to the non-profit community partner organizations of the schools in which we are scheduled to begin working. Please contact us using the contact form below. We’re happy to tell you more.
The SMP will partner with two K-8 schools in the 2018-2019 academic year when programming begins. These schools are: Stanton Elementary School, a South Philadelphia based K-8 school, and La Academia Antonia Alonsa, a Wilmington Delaware, K-5 Charter school.
An integral component of the SMP model is to impact neighborhood communities. For this reason, we provide our promgramming to schools, neighborhood by neighborhood, and for the first three years of programming, preference will be given to South Philadelphia based schools wishing to partner with The SMP.
If you are a school administrator, superintendent or prinicipal and would like your school to be considered for our program, please contact us. We currently have three spots open for the 2019-2020 academic year and can add your school to the waitlist for the 2018-2019 academic year.
How It Works
When The School Mindfulness Project (SMP) comes to your school, your school receives a dedicated SMP educator, your staff receives 21 hours of on-site training, education, applied practice and integration support, and your students receive a 12-week foundation in mindfulness and movement education from our SMP staff. Upon completion of the program, you have the option of providing your students ongoing on-the-mat yoga classes.
As we conclude our program with your students and transition to a neighboring school, your staff are equipped with the necessary tools, knowledge, and skills to assume their role as mindfulness educators and to integrate mindfulness education into the classroom setting with daily lessons from our curriculum. ACT 48 professional development hours are available for a total of 21 hours of educational training.
Training takes place in four overlapping modules during a 16-20 week time period.
Phase 1 and 3 of staff training are designed to take place during in-service days but may be scheduled for after school hours when preferable.
The Mindful Teacher Immersion
preparatory program for teachers
This phase takes place during weeks 1-6 and supports school teachers as they are introduced to mindfulness and mindful movements through an
The Mindful Student Training
12 mindfulness classes for your students,
12 opportunities for your staff
Phase 2 is taught to students in their classrooms during weeks 4-15 of the program and provides a foundation in mindfulness and mindful movement education to all students in the school while providing the opportunity for school staff to observe and experience The School MIndfuless program and curriculum in practice.
The Mindful Teacher Educational Training
A 9-hour educational training provided to all school staff.
Held during weeks 7-15 of the program, and using The SMP curriculum, Phase 3 provides teachers with the necessary knowledge, understanding and ability to meaningfully integrate mindfulness and mindful movement education into the school day.
Upon completion of Phase 3, our SMP staff provide oversight as your school staff integrates their new skillset into the school day. Phase 4 takes place during weeks 16-20 with four hours per week/per school of SMP support.
Optional Phase 5
Weekly Yoga Classes For All Students
While the desk and chair-based mindful learning and movement practices of phases 2-4 above, provide the opportunity for physical movement and classroom integration of mindfulness practice, they do not take the place of having a mat of one’s own. The SMP offers a weekly yoga class option, designed to be ongoing and continuing from year-to-year, providing on-the-mat yoga classes for all students in the school. It’s the equivalent of providing a part time yoga instructor to each school and is incorporated to complement the curriculum that school staff will integrate in the classroom. The number of instructional hours per week is equivalent to the number of classrooms in your school.
Evidence-Based Research Tells Us That School-Based Mindfulness Education
Supports Positive Outcomes
Improved ability to focus
Improved memory retention
Improved ability to learn
Improved emotional and physical and academic wellbeing
Ease of classroom management
Reduced job stress
A peaceful teaching and learning environment
Improved communication with students
Greater job satisfaction
The many joys that accompany cultivating a mindful classroom
For Your School Community
The cultivation of a more compassionate community
Greater academic success
Sustained emotional, physical and academic well-being
Unique Features of The School Mindfulness Project
- Our program was developed by Gail Silver J.D, E-RYT, RCYT, YAECP. Gail is the Founder and Director of Yoga Child, Inc., a registered children’s yoga teacher, and an award winning author of three mindfulness books for children. Formerly a child advocate attorney, Gail has twenty-one years of experience as an advocate and mindfulness and yoga educator for children.
- Because we’re providing the training and education to your staff and students, The School Mindfulness Project enables classroom teachers and students to easily continue to enjoy the benefits of the practice and curriculum post-training.
- Classes, training and support for staff and students are held on-site, in your school.
- A School Mindfulness Project staff member is present to support your staff as they begin to implement all they have learned.
- Weekly on-the mat yoga classes are available to participating schools.
- Our organization is comprised of professionals who are longtime residents of Philadelphia and who care deeply about our schools, students and staff. We are dedicated to improving the quality of academic life in Philadelphia and are available to return to each school we serve for ongoing education and support.