Making Mindfulness a Priority at JFK

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John F. Kennedy Elementary School had a mission to create a safe space where students could go to regain a sense of calmness or peace after experiencing a rough day or tough moment. On April 11, after months of planning and preparation, the school’s quality team members participated in the official ribbon cutting of the school’s mindfulness room.

The challenges of the pandemic and changes in the normal school environment have made it difficult for both teachers and students during the past two years. John F. Kennedy parent Jen O’Dougherty and teacher Melissa Dewhirst teamed up as part of a donor’s choose grant.

“Many people donated money and supplies to turn this vision into a reality,” said John F. Kennedy Elementary School Principal Denisha Van Liew. “The project was fully funded within a week of posting the grant. The process thereafter was a long one due to COVID. The day the room was scheduled to be set up was the same day all districts went into emergency quarantine. The school has been waiting to set up the space and turn this vision into a reality since March 2020.”

Many students have been utilizing the room since it officially opened. John F. Kennedy Elementary School fifth grader Jack O’Dougherty said, “As a kid, I would get lots of anxiety. I know I’m not the only one who gets stressed, so the mindfulness room is a great addition. It helps calm and relax kids.”

Teachers have even been escaping to the space as well, popping in on their preps to regain a sense of balance and peace in their busy day. “This room is truly a great addition to our school and extremely beneficial for the mental well-being of both students and staff,” Van Liew added.

Date Added: 5/11/2022