Students learn mindfulness strategies

Bellefonte Area School District  |  Posted on

Saying “the students loved it,” second-grade teacher Lauren Mrsa welcomed a guest to her Marion-Walker Elementary School classroom that her students normally don’t get to work with – school social worker Maria McClatchey, who led a lesson on brain function and body awareness that tapped into kid-friendly mindfulness strategies.

According to McClatchey, all second grade students at the Hublersburg-based school participated in a social-emotional learning mini unit. Throughout the fall, the four-week lessons supplemented the school’s social emotional learning (SEL) curriculum and mindfulness interventions that included an in-depth study of brain function and body awareness.

“It was a joy to spend time with each of (the) classes,” McClatchey said. “They are so insightful and fun, and I loved our time together.”

During the unit, students learned four main objectives through vocabulary games, crafts, videos and more:

-Self-awareness skills
-Stress response
-Self-regulation skills
-When to seek help from a trusted adult

“SEL is an important investment in students’ current and future wellbeing,” McClatchey said. “When students understand how their brains and bodies function, they have more skills to take quality care of themselves in times of stress, describe what they feel and need, and connect to appropriate support.”