Currently in their fourth year of mindfulness instruction, Lee Road Elementary School officially opened their new Mindfulness Room on Oct. 2 to help students and staff channel their emotions and observe their feelings. The room was the brainchild of third grade teacher Melanie Anderson, the chairperson of Lee Road's Mindfulness Committee, graduate of the Mindful Schools, "Mindful Teacher" certification program and the adviser of the school's Mindfulness Club.
The room will be used for some Mindfulness Club sessions and for students who are in need of a few moments of calm. It will be utilized before, during, and after school for both students and staff.
Central administrators including Superintendent of Schools Dr. Tonie McDonald and Assistant Superintendent for Instruction Todd Winch, Board of Education President Peggy Marenghi, Principal Anthony Goss, PTA members, Mindfulness Club students and Mindfulness Committee members, were present for the opening ceremony. Anderson spoke about the room and thanked everyone present before cutting the ribbon with students to officially open the new space.
She explained that the year-long project came to fruition with the support of her committee, the building and district administration and many parents and students.
"It's such a wonderful accomplishment and feeling that our children are learning how to focus their attention, regulate their emotions and bring mindfulness into everyday life," said Anderson. "I am honored to work in a district that understands the importance of this. I'm really thankful."
She also acknowledged teacher's aide Geralyn Poveromo who partnered with Anderson to help design the room. Anderson spoke about how students will be using the space and signing up to visit the room. She also explained that the school will now offer a Mindfulness Club for students in grades 1-5. The club was previously offered just for students in grades 3-4.
Winch, one of the supporters of the Mindfulness Room project, thanked Anderson for her hard work and dedication in bringing the idea to life.
"Lee Road, as well as the entire district benefits from what you have done," said Winch. "On behalf of the district and the board, thank you very much for the time you have put into this. A lot of times we focus on our academics and it's something like this that really helps kids be successful people and live fulfilled lives."
Following the ribbon cutting, everyone was invited into the room where the students explored the space. The room contains 'calm down glitter jars,' sand for kinesthetic tactile engagement, breathing balls, calming dark blue and light blue walls, beautiful paintings, calming scenery, comfortable chairs, benches and rugs.
Anderson will continue to support the school's mindfulness endeavors by teaching a 10-week Introduction to Mindfulness course through the Levittown Teachers' Center available to anyone in the Levittown Public Schools.