Take Time Out for Mindfulness
Breathe in for four seconds, breathe out for six. While mindfulness is most often associated with breathing techniques and yoga, it’s about so much more—from noticing what’s in and around you, to learning how to be present in the moment, to taking care of yourself.

This month’s Upbeat News features tips for helping kids sleep easy, strategies for encouraging relaxation in the classroom, and a lesson to help students reflect on how thoughts affect feelings and behavior, complete with a free handout about self-talk. We’re also pleased to introduce you to mindfulness expert James Butler, M.Ed., author of our forthcoming book Mindful Classrooms™: Daily 5-Minute Practices to Support Social-Emotional Learning (PreK to Grade 5) and Mindfulness In a Jar®: 101 Exercises to Help Children Focus and Calm Their Minds.

Author Spotlight
James Butler, M.Ed., has made it his mission to bring mindfulness into the classroom. You can read more about how he defines mindfulness and how he’s helped students in this MindShift article. For educators interested in resources to help them practice mindfulness in their classrooms, James has authored the forthcoming book Mindful Classrooms™: Daily 5-Minute Practices to Support Social-Emotional Learning (PreK to Grade 5) and Mindfulness In a Jar®: 101 Exercises to Help Children Focus and Calm Their Minds.

Tips & Tools from the Free Spirit Blog
In this Counselor’s Corner post, Barbara Gruener shares strategies for infusing mindfulness into your daily rituals and routines. Read now.
Liz Bergren offers strategies for how to introduce mindfulness to students. Read now.
Educational grants available for your school or community:

The Memorial Trust responds to the ever-changing needs of various segments of the population, especially to the needs of young people and people who are disadvantaged either physically or economically. Education is one of the primary funding areas, in addition to arts and culture, community development, environment, historic preservation, journalism, disabilities and universal access, and youth initiatives. Under the education program, support is given to organizations that provide educational opportunities or academic assistance to individuals who demonstrate an intellectual aptitude as well as financial need.

Eligibility: 501 (c)(3) organizations.
Prize: Awards range from $10,000 to $20,000.
Deadline: Letters of inquiry are due January 1, annually. Invited applications are due April 1, annually.

The AASL Innovative Reading Grant supports the planning and implementation of a unique and innovative program for children that motivates and encourages reading, especially with struggling readers. The reading program must be specifically designed for children in kindergarten through grade 9 in a school library setting. The grant committee awards the grant to an innovative program that demonstrates the potential for reading improvement, promotes the importance of reading, and facilitates learners’ literacy development by supporting current reading research, practice, and policy.

Eligibility: Public, Private, Charter, Other (including homeschool, 501 (c)(3) organizations). Applicants must be personal members of AASL.
Prize: Grants of $2,500 are awarded.
Deadline: Applications are due February 1, annually.
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Free Download

Help students practice mindfulness with “Self-Talk, True Talk,” a handout from Boost Emotional Intelligence in Students: 30 Flexible Research-Based Activities to Build EQ Skills (Grades 5–9) by Maurice J. Elias, Ph.D., and Steven E. Tobias, Psy.D. It explains what self-talk is and shares words students should listen for when they pay attention to their inner dialogue.

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“The future depends entirely on what each of us does every day.”
—Gloria Steinem, American feminist and journalist