For my mini grant I created "Peace Kits" for every classroom. Each Peace Kit comes with several calming tools in them for students to use to help self regulate in the classroom. I bought a bundle of sensory items off Amazon, mini sachets of lavender, coloring journals, colored pencils, timers small totes to put the items in and also a kit from Teachers Pay Teachers to include in each box. The kit from TPT had a feelings page, coping tools, positive affirmations and pictures of animals, which are called "feel good pictures", a picture of a breathing board and the label on the actual tote. I purchased this small kit as well, made copies, laminated everything, cut each thing out and put a three ring holder to hold the resources together. I visited each classroom to talk about feelings and coping strategies. I showed the kit to the students and talked about how to use each item putting a preference on inappropriate vs. appropriate usage. The kids and teachers have all had success with the Peace Kits. We have a lot of kiddos who struggle with self-regulation in our building and a lot of these kiddos use the kits pretty frequently.
With the mini-grant awarded to me by INSSWA, I was able to provide all of my students (K-8) with a sensory room. I was able to purchase a wobble board, mini-trampoline, faux-color changing aquarium, a sound machine, as well as many smaller objects to help with focus & calming. I use this area for student breaks, positive rewards for students, as well as a calm down area for students. It most often used as a positive reward for students. I have set-up a designated day for each grade (K-4) to pick 2 students who had a super spectacular day to visit my office to play & explore the area. This has been a great motivator for a number of students, per the teachers. I would like to thank INSSWA for granting me the opportunity to provide a multi-purpose area for the students at Edison School of theArts. I am truly grateful for this gift!
Thank you to INSSWA for the grant that allowed me to purchase supplies for the Fall Family Kick-Off Event at Kokomo Schools Head Start Program. Program objectives included: 1) increasing family well-being; 2) building positive parent-child relationships; and 3) allowing families to engage in learning a positive strategy for behavior in the home. A total of 39 families received supplies to start their Home Bucketfilling Project. Parents and their children enjoyed an evening of fun decorating buckets and learning how to use the bucketfiller coupons at home to reinforce positive behavior. Families received the book “Fill a Bucket- A Children’s Guide to Daily Happiness”, “Bucketfilling from A to Z Coloring Book”, crayons, stickers, and handouts with specific instructions on implementing their “Family Bucketfilling Project”. Surveys completed by adults at the end of the evening were very positive about having all of the resources and being prepared to start their projects at home. Follow-up post training surveys will be sent home in 2 weeks to see how parents are doing using the tools they have received.
Sheryl Eastes LCSW, LSSW
KSC Head Start Program
Student Support Center
The INSSWA mini-grant provided partial funding for the first ever Student Support Center (SSC) at Mohawk Trails Elementary. This space currently provides all 600 of our students with a calm and quiet place to retreat when they need someone to talk to. Having a centralized location for social work services has helped students feel safe and comfortable talking with someone when in a time of need. The mini-grant was used to help fund the “living room” portion of this space, completing the “homey” feeling of the room. The SSC is currently supporting anywhere between 30-40 students a day with their social and emotional needs. We are hopeful that this room will continue to develop into a safe space for allof our students in the building.
MindfulU instructors Mindi Dugard and Rachael von Eschenbach came to Saint Pius X Catholic School for six consecutive weeks to deliver 45-minute lessons to one third grade classroom. The lessons were conducted during a gym class. Each lesson began with yoga-based movements to improve body awareness and focus the students’ attention. The remaining time was spent practicing mindfulness and learning breathing techniques. Students learned about the different parts of their brain that affect their emotions and ability to focus.
After each student lesson, there was a 15-minute mindfulness lesson for any teacher in the school interested in attending. The teachers learned about mindfulness and how to incorporate mindfulness practices into their own daily lives and classrooms.
Students were given a post-test at the end of the six weeks. 100% of the students reported knowing what mindfulness is and how it can help them. 96% reported that they have used mindful breathing to help keep themselves calm. 100% knew the parts of their brain that helped with mindfulness.