Tempe High Schools Add Mindfulness Rooms
A room that once held dozens of computers at Corona Del Sol High School is now filled instead with comfy chairs. One wall is brick and the others are a cool, pale blue.
“It’s beautiful, it’s calming and relaxing,” said school social worker Lauri Pagano.
This is the school’s mindfulness room. By the end of the first semester, every campus in the Tempe Union High School District will have a similar space as part of its social and emotional wellness programs.
A $5,000 grant from the Arizona Diamondbacks helped pay for the renovation at Corona Del Sol and a grant from the Governor’s Office on Youth, Faith and Families is supporting districtwide mindfulness training for staff.
She helps students find this awareness with different exercises, for example, deep breathing.
School districts around the country, and outside it, are experimenting with mindfulness as a way to foster resilience and change student discipline.
Preliminary research shows a mindfulness practice could help decrease anxiety, but studies are limited.
Corona Del Sol’s health and wellness coach Cinthia Martínez teaches freshman about healthy relationships, conflict resolution and, now, mindfulness.
“Even though we have this amazing room and the idea is to transport them out of here, the work doesn’t end here,” Martínez said.