Exploring Mindfulness in Schools: A Panel Discussion

Date(s) - 04/27/2019
1:00 pm - 3:00 pm


Springboard Studio, a home for meditation in Mt. Airy, brings together families and educators to explore the benefits of mindfulness for school children.  With special attention to Northwest Philadelphia neighborhoods, Springboard will host a panel discussion on April 27th to share information on how mindfulness and meditation can help children regulate emotions and reactivity, reduce trauma and violence, and make wise decisions. The program will include a guided meditation.

Research shows that children who learn mindfulness benefit in areas of social-emotional skills, cognition and general well-being. This may lead to long-term improvements in education, employment, mental health as well as reduction in crime rates and decreasing instances of substance abuse.*

“We believe that mindfulness and meditation can be immensely helpful for children in learning to navigate their social-emotional world. It equips them with the skills to manage stress and strong emotions and helps them become more well-rounded people”  — Pamela Freeman, member, Springboard Board of Directors.

Studies show benefits of mindfulness for teachers as well as students. Mindful teachers experience reduced stress and burnout, report greater efficacy and offer more emotionally supportive class rooms.*

Amy Edelstein is the founder and Executive Director of the Inner Strength Foundation, a non-profit organization that supports youth development. Its innovative 12-week teen mindfulness and systems-thinking program has reached thousands of high school students in the inner city of Philadelphia. This trauma-informed methodology helps students cultivate self regulation while reducing anxiety and promoting curiosity through a curriculum that combines Mindfulness, Evolutionary Neuroscience, Cultural Development & the Art of Relationship.

Cynthia Goldberg is the Mindfulness and Positive Psychology Coach for the Cheltenham School District.  She facilitates mindfulness and positive psychology sessions with students, teachers, staff and administrators.  She has over 22 years of experience teaching in Cheltenham School District.

Beth Jellinek is Executive Director and Co-founder of What Is: Mindfulness, established in 2016. What Is: Mindfulness (WIM) brings mindfulness education to K-8 students in Philadelphia, and professional development for teachers and staff. We offer the tools, grounded in neuroscience and trauma-informed care, to empower participants to apply ‘awareness with compassion’ to self and others. What Is: Mindfulness is committed to bringing a wellness focus to underinvested communities, and recognizing mindfulness as a powerful tool to navigate traumatized systems of inequity. Beth is also a licensed therapist with a private practice in Philadelphia. She has worked in Philadelphia schools over the years as a grief counselor, researcher, and teacher. Mindfulness education is a synthesis of her work in education and mental health.

Vien Nguyen is a middle school teacher at the Academy in Manayunk. This winter he co-ran AIM’s first after-school mindfulness club for the Middle and Lower Schools. Vien also ran a parent-teacher book club on communication. The club read meditation teacher Oren Jay Sofer’s recent book on nonviolent communication: “Say What You Mean.” Vien is passionate about teaching students with learning differences and fostering students’ social-emotional growth. He is spending the summer at an educational non-profit at Duke University, researching the use of mindfulness in schools. The research includes a measure for evaluating compassionate school cultures.

Emanuel Johnson, 5th grade student at Academy in Manayunk (AIM)
Emanuel Johnson is eleven years old and lives in Rydal. He attends AIM Academy where he is learning great life skills including how to use mindfulness as a way to harness his mind and body together. His interests include reading, roller hockey and his dogs, Champ and Cappy. He is also an aspiring black belt in martial arts.

Bruce Johnson, co-guardian of Emanuel
Bruce Johnson is a resident of Rydal. He and his wife Merixsa of thirty years, have a daughter, Brooke, who is a junior at Temple University. Bruce started a consulting business, Capstan Tax Strategies, based in Jenkintown, in 2004, and, together with is his business partner, has turned it into a national, highly acclaimed practice. He graduated from the Massachusetts Maritime Academy in 1988 and then received his MBA from the University of New Haven in 1996. His hobbies include reading, traveling and endurance events such as Spartan races and SealFit. He also is aspiring to achieve his black belt in martial arts like his nephew, Emanuel.

April 27, 1:00-3:00pm
Lovett Library
6945 Germantown Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19119-2189 (Germantown Ave. & Sedgwick St.) 


Co-Sponsored by Springboard Studio and Lovett Library

For more information, contact Michelle Stortz, info@springboardsangha.org or 215-242-1366.

Amidst the bustling Mt Airy Village neighborhood, Springboard Studio offers a welcoming, restful space for meditation and yoga. Springboard offers fourteen free silent meditation periods throughout the week that are open to the public and sponsored by the not-for-profit Springboard Meditation Sangha. In addition, Springboard’s skilled team of yoga teachers provide classes for people of all ages and abilities. www.SpringboardStudio.net

Lovett Library has been serving the communities of East and West Mt. Airy since 1885. It became a branch of the Free Library of Philadelphia in 1924 and includes the Lovett Memorial Reading Garden.


*Source: MindfulSchools.org