Mindfulness programs offered to Allentown kids throughout the summer
ALLENTOWN, Pa. — A mindfulness program that serves more than 350 classrooms during the school year will continue its efforts over the summer.
The Mindful Child Initiative will hold free events in Allentown while school is out.
- A program that brings mindfulness to schools continues their efforts through summer
- The Mindful Child Initiative serves more than 350 classrooms throughout the year
- The program visits playgrounds throughout the summer
“This summer, we are partnering with the city of Allentown and we have trained all of the playground staff throughout the city,” program Co-Executive Director Sara Martinez said.
“Mindfulness is a practice, so you're never going to become a mindful person where tomorrow I feel mindful, and I'm done."Mindful Child Initiative Co-Executive Director Sara Martinez
“They have 15 playground sites, so Allentown School District children are at these playgrounds. We have already trained the staff. And then our mindfulness instructors are going each week to the sites to also provide mindfulness to the children."
Focus on earlier grades
The Mindful Child Initiative is a non-profit that provides mindfulness and yoga programming for children in Allentown and the adults who support them.
It was started by the Pratyush Sinha Foundation, which was founded by Prabha Sinha in memory of her son.
The program is fully funded through grants, sponsorships and donations, so they do not use district funds.
"If you can embody mindfulness and being mindful in the moment, it will transfer to children and that's why it's so important for these teachers and healthcare workers and people that surround the children to really be role models and model.”Sara Martinez, Mindful Child Initiative
“Our main focus is the Allentown School District, kindergarten to fifth grade, including all their special-ed classrooms," said Jason Sizemore, co-executive director for the Mindful Child Initiative.
"It's close to 7,500 kids that we service throughout the school year.”
Sizemore said the program visits every classroom for at least 15 minutes a week.
“They also have mindfulness training for the staff, self-care for them, but also some training for them and offer that training to anyone beyond the school district, but primarily are working directly with kids in Allentown for right now,” he said.
'A constant practice'
Sizemore said he feels it’s just as important to teach adults the practices as it is the children, to set an example.
“Mindfulness is being present in the current moment and focusing on what's in front of you, and we can't always do that," he said.
"Life is crazy sometimes and we have to deal with what's ahead, worry about the you know, reflect on the past, but we all have a right to take a break when we need to in that moment, and then we can return to the chaos of living.”
“Mindfulness is a practice, so you're never going to become a mindful person where tomorrow I feel mindful, and I'm done."Sara Martinez, Mindful Child Initiative
Martinez agreed, saying, "if you can embody mindfulness and being mindful in the moment, it will transfer to children. And that's why it's so important for these teachers and healthcare workers and people that surround the children to really be role models and model.”
She concluded by saying, “Mindfulness is a practice, so you're never going to become a mindful person where tomorrow I feel mindful, and I'm done.
"It's a constant practice and so for adults that are supporting children, it's really showing them that you're constantly practicing too."
The Mindful Child Initiative will hold a yoga under the stars event at Allentown’s rose garden on Aug. 1.
The initiative also holds family mindfulness sessions at Jay’s Local coffee shop, 2301 W. Liberty St., Allentown, on Friday mornings throughout the summer.