Blog

Ways We Help Our Children Value Mindfulness

The benefits of mindfulness practice in the classroom have been well documented. Like adults, children who learn to meditate often report reduced stress and anxiety, increased capacity to focus and concentrate, and even better sleep. At Community Roots Coop we also actively integrate these practices into conflict transformation and the development of emotional intelligence. Our kids sometimes practice on the cushion, but more often we are exploring present-moment awareness through sensory activities, movement, and play. A typical "Mindful Monday" afternoon class includes the following routine practices:

  • Bell listening. Each child gets a chance to ring a bell while others practice concentrating. When you can no longer hear the bell, raise your hand. When all hands are raised, pass the bell to the next child in the circle.
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  • Quiet walking. Each week a different leader is chosen to guide the class on a silent walk in nature. Once back in the classroom, we share what we noticed (sounds, sights, smells, textures, etc). 
  • Mindful eating. A favorite each week, the kids enjoy slowing down the process of eating a blueberry, raisin, orange slice, cracker, or on special occasions a piece of chocolate. We notice texture, smell, salivation, and evolving taste. 

We also have fun with special activities like making our own calming jars and breathing buddies. At Community Roots Coop our mindfulness program is designed by parent Kristina, a longtime insight meditation practitioner and certified teacher who trained under Tara Brach and is a member of the associate faculty at Insight Meditation Community of Charlottesville.

Making breathing buddies!

Making breathing buddies!

Four Awesome Reasons to Support our End of Year Fundraiser!

Coop is a Safe Place

The Community Roots Coop prioritizes: A learning community explicitly centered on creating support and safety for children of color. Our scholarship fund has a direct impact on the coops' mission to support families from diverse backgrounds. 

Go directly to the Fundraiser:

https://www.facebook.com/donate/135498950466550/

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Multi-age Learning

The Community Roots Coop maximizes the benefits of multi-age learning. Each child gains interpersonal knowledge and dynamic social skills as a result of an environment that welcomes whole group learning and mixed-aged pairings. At coop, the next generation learns to embrace differences and work together. 

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Cooperative Literacy

At Coop language arts takes on many forms. Here, you'll see some of our older and younger students, reading together. Behind them, the Coop word wall is an evolving space to record and recognize frequently used words. Writing takes place both naturally as children take initiative to create stories, cards, and so much more, but also as a result of prompts and projects proposed by our experienced educators. Coop kids get a revolutionary balance of literacy options. 

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We're a True Community

Because here, love comes first. At the Coop we value education, parent participation, and a child-led curriculum, but at our core we are a collective grown from love. Your support of your end-of-year fundraiser helps up share that love with children who may not otherwise be able to benefit from the uniquely wonderful experience of being at Community Roots. Contribute to our fundraiser today

Photo by Maggie Williams Photography

Photo by Maggie Williams Photography

Breadmakers

The Coop Cooking Club is a bi-weekly enrichment opportunity. Kids learn about healthy food options and cooking from scratch. Here you'll catch a glimpse of breadmaking at the Coop. 

One day these little hands might change the world. For now, they make bread with friends. 

One day these little hands might change the world. For now, they make bread with friends. 

Kneading dough requires much focus. 

Kneading dough requires much focus. 

Our model supports the creation of deeper connections with parents and children. Parent educators rock!

Our model supports the creation of deeper connections with parents and children. Parent educators rock!

Sweet friends! 

Sweet friends! 

Methods for Mindfulness

The Community Roots kids have the exceptional experience of learning from professional educators and parents. Mindfulness Mondays encouraging our kids to be aware of their surroundings, present in the moment, and conscious of ways in which they can take charge of their big feelings.

Students work together to make Breathing Buddies: a mindfulness tool for calming and managing tough emotions.

Students work together to make Breathing Buddies: a mindfulness tool for calming and managing tough emotions.

Proud friends and their nifty Breathing Buddies!

Proud friends and their nifty Breathing Buddies!

Into the Leaves

Our co-op crew is fortunate enough to spend lots of time outside in a natural environment. Leaves are blanketing the playscape and that makes for some fall fun! These friends of all ages have a great time jumping in and throwing leaves. Pure joy! 

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