I thought it would be helpful to provide research supporting the healing qualities of art and mindfulness training with youth.
I have attached some thank you letters from my in-person teaching at the Science and Math Institute this year in Tacoma, WA for you to see what my students personal experience has been over the years. Here is the link to a video I made which has some “Brave Art For Youth” artwork of my students: https://vimeo.com/205786350 which shows you the resulting artwork of the healing process of my students go through in this program. This video is also included in the online program for teacher’s to play on their big screens to inspire students all the ways they can use words and art to express themselves.
In my conversations about bullying with students, it became evident that sometimes the stories of bullying came from experiences they had with teachers and principals and so it is my heartfelt belief that as both teachers and students go through the program together, both will benefit from having an understanding of the value of an arts, contemplation and meditation practice of mindfulness in the classroom.
Creativity is ideal for drawing out youth who have difficulty articulating feelings. Creative expression gives kids a way to voice their pain, anxiety and fear in an age-appropriate and non-threatening way. It helps them sort out confusing emotions and circumstances, communicate their needs, and heal from emotional wounds.
Many feelings, thoughts, and views can present themselves in just one picture, which in normal talk therapy, might have taken months to surface. They can draw when they can’t find the words, and write when they don’t have the confidence to speak and with the program explaining how they can continue this process at home, we can home for long lasting benefits into their adult lives.
Here are two in-depth articles of research on the subject of the benefits of teaching mindfulness that I have also attached and though they are 18 pages long, they make for some really compelling reading. One of the follow up tasks with schools participating in the online Brave Art for Youth program, is a survey so that by this time next year I can share my own results.
In the meantime, Art Foundations and art schools in Washington, Oregon and British Columbia rebook with me every year and this to me says the program has proven its benefit to the community.
Here are a list of public schools I have taught at:
– Grade 11 and 12 students at The Science and Math Institute and The School of The Arts this past January in Point Defiance Park, Tacoma WA
– Myrtle Phillips Elementary School, Whistler British Columbia
– I am scheduled to teach “Brave Art” middle school students at a middle school in Maupen, Oregon March 20-25th for Amy Gray, Director of Programs, Arts in Education of the Gorge.
– I have also taught “Skateboard Art” at Wy’East Elementary School in Hood River, Oregon to at risk youth in 2013 and a three class Surfboard Art week of Surfart at Westside Elementary School.
– I have been tentatively confirmed to teach “Brave Art” at a middle school in Renton this year for one of their teachers, Sue Kiewet but am awaiting final confirmation on dates.
I hope that this has all been helpful and please do let me know if I can provide any further information.
Here are two articles to read more about mindfulness in schools: