Mindful Arts San Francisco's (MASF) mission is to provide volunteer–facilitated mindfulness instruction to SFUSD students through a partnership with the San Francisco Education Fund. Through storytelling, as well as visual and performing arts activities, students learn focusing techniques to cultivate the skill of present moment awareness to improve attention, self-regulation, and social-emotional learning so that all students can have the opportunity to succeed.
Most students are surprisingly receptive to this work. At every grade level, many students appear excited to learn a new skill, Mindfulness.
WHAT IS MINDFULNESS?
Mindfulness is simply the practice of noticing our thoughts and emotions, without being carried away by them.
Is it simple? Yes! Is it easy? No! That is why it is always a practice. We are training our brains to behave, not unlike a puppy, to heel to the present. We are not solely our thoughts; we are also the consciousness that can witness them. Mindfulness rewires and strengthens the brain, like developing a muscle.
What mindfulness isn’t: the stopping of thoughts or the stopping of feelings. We could no more stop our brains from working than any other bodily function. Eventually our brains and bodies will do what they are designed to do, move. We can, however, choose not to get attached to our thoughts, but learn to observe them. In that pause of awareness, whereby we witness our thoughts, we can choose to respond wisely to them, rather than react blindly to them.
Meditation (or “Focus Time”) is the process of training the brain to be more aware. Mindfulness is noticing that with intention, and at any time, we can be more aware of our inner and outer worlds.
Mindfulness is BREATH-taking: A simple phrase to remember.
When we take more conscious breaths throughout our day we begin to train our minds to be more present. Mindfulness is an awareness practice, not a calming practice.
WHAT WE DO:
·Provide volunteer Mindfulness Instructors to teach the MASF curriculum to TK through 5th Grades.
· Provide trainings of MASF Curriculum to volunteer Mindfulness Instructors.
· Lead one hour to daylong Professional Development trainings for primary teachers interested in implementing MASF curriculum.
· Provide interactive student assemblies for individual classrooms and entire school populations.
· Provide and mentor elementary school teachers, with a mindfulness practice and the MASF curriculum.
Participating SFUSD classes have included: Alvarado Elementary, Bessie Charmichael Elem., William Cobb Elem., Bret Harte Elementary, Commodore Sloat Elem., Charles Drew Academy, Creative Arts Charter, Harvey Milk Academy, Leonard Flynn Elem., Hoover Middle School, Jefferson Elem., Juniperra Serra Elementary, George Moscone Elementary, New Traditions Elementary, Redding Elementary, Rosa Parks Elem., Sherman Elementary, Tenderloin Elementary.
For more information on the MASF curriculum, Professional Development Workshops, or to become part of THE MINDFUL ARTS SAN FRANCISCO team Contact Andrew Nance @ firstname.lastname@example.org or call 415.819.3766
"This curriculum is so thorough and complete! It covers everything that a Mindful Educator needs to know in terms of content, presentation, potential student responses, positive reinforcement, behavior issues, primary teacher tips, resources, and so on!"
-Retired Educator, Cartwright School District, Phoenix, AZ