When the US government made 89 million dollars of funding available for after school and summer programs for children to 161 community-based partners, they finally made it possible for educators to take action on a fact educators already knew but were without the means to support: children and families thrive when they have the continuous learning, support, and connections every day of the year – not just for nine months.

Mindfulness education is a critical component of this year-round support of children. After all, children are interacting with people in new ways during the summer months and they face different challenges than when they are in the rigors of the daily school day. Building life skills is a daily practice, and mindful education, including the programs and training provided by Mind Body Align at School, make it easy for teachers, businesses, and individuals to make it a part of life and their habits.

After a recent program, assessments showed that 100% of teachers believe their students benefited from the program and showed improvements in their ability to relate to one another, pay attention, and control impulses. Teachers reported an overall improvement in 93% of their students as well as improvement in the student’s ability to regulate emotions and settle down to learn. Mindful education is evidence-based, and for many schools, mindful training is an important part of PBIS programs and classroom management.

The federally supported COVID-19 relief grants focus on providing direct services for Ohio students who experienced greater disruptions to learning and did not engage consistently in school during the pandemic. This is a problem Mind Body Align at School immediately addressed successfully by using technology to create blended learning programs. The data shows these are as effective for students who are in the classroom, and also reach those who are distance learners. 

Mind Body Align is a recent finalist for the Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA) CODiE Award. Over the past 37 years, SIIA has recognized thousands of education and business technology companies, products, and services as leaders in innovation and excellence. The peer-recognized program has continued to evolve with the technology it honors, showcasing the most leading-edge products and innovative business technology of the time. Mind Body Align is honored for its new blended learning curriculum.

In an announcement shared by the Ohio Department of Education, Interim Superintendent of Public Instruction Stephanie Siddens said, “The Summer Learning and Afterschool Opportunities grants provide students with opportunities to accelerate learning in unique and engaging ways outside of the traditional school day. These before-school, after-school, and summer enrichment programs will help accelerate student learning and address students’ mental health and wellness through academic and tutoring programs focused on literacy, wellness, college and career readiness activities, and more.” 

Organizations that are receiving funds include community centers, colleges and universities, faith-based organizations, art centers, neighborhood outreach centers, and youth activity centers, and Mind Body Align has programs for each group. 

The strategies the awardees will use to create or expand comprehensive before- and after-school and evidence-based summer learning and enrichment opportunities include reading and math tutoring, mentoring, wellness activities, career counseling support, and more. Mind Body Align is a partner to organizations implementing these programs.