BOYNTON BEACH, Fla. — At Galaxy E3 Elementary School in Boynton Beach teachers and staff are preparing for another school year in the pandemic and this year there’s a new lesson being taught on mindfulness.
“To come in and decompress,” Callie Reda said.
Reda, a therapist at the school, has transformed one of the classrooms into a sanctuary of sorts.
“For them to be able to come in here learn mindfulness practices, be more mindful of their actions and their words and how they affect other people and then in turn go back into the classroom and model that for their peers,” she said.
It’s a new concept for the school, but one the principal, Lisa Brumfield, believes is needed especially amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“A lot of students have had loss, transitions to different homes, health issues at home,” Brumfield said. “They’ve lost family members. So, we know that we are going to have students and teachers coming on to campus that are going to need support.”
Center for Child Counseling have therapists in around 30 Palm Beach County schools.
They are one of several agencies who have partnered with the Palm Beach County School District to have therapists co-located at schools as a part of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas Public Safety Act.
“You know be there for the children when they come in to see where they are with things not only academically, but also their social and emotional health,” Lauren Scirrotto, Chief Program Officer of Center for Child Counseling said.
Piecing together a mental health puzzle.
“Once I started talking to them, they really were open and it seemed like they just needed someone to listen because everyone had been talking and complaining about the same things,” Reda said. They felt like their voices weren’t being heard.”
Brumfield says the mindfulness room is part of the Palm Beach County School District's commitment to equity and wellness. For more information visit https://www2.palmbeachschools.org/caringfirst/.