Funding allocation within a school budget is complicated.
Usually funded items are justified by having a direct impact on academic achievement. However, we now understand trauma, mental illness and positive relationships do in fact impact academic achievement. Our school began the quest for a grant to address contributing factors of student trauma and staff secondary trauma. What if we could address overall wellbeing? Here’s our story!
Finding Our Funding
PrairieCare Child & Family Fund, which launched in March of 2016, has awarded $360,000 to a total of seventeen school districts across the state of MN to support mental health education and training to those who support or provide educational services to youth.
Once we identified our area of focus, we dove into the research. Our team utilized the Minnesota Student Survey.
This voluntary survey asks students about their activities, opinions, behaviors and experiences. Students respond to questions on school climate, bullying, out-of-school activities, health and nutrition, emotional and mental health, relationships, substance use and more. Questions about sexual behaviors are asked only of ninth- and 11th-grade students. All responses are anonymous.
Here are some of the data, highlighted by our team, from the 2016 MN Student Survey results.
- About 1 in 5 students reported experiencing symptoms of depression.
- The percentage of 11th graders who said they seriously considered suicide in the past year increased from 9.7 percent in 2013 to 12 percent in 2016.
- Ninth grade students who reported mental health concerns lasting six months or more increased from 12.5 percent to 17.3 percent in 2016.
Our grant writer helped us package a grant that focused on stress reduction with tier one mindfulness and movement interventions. We worked collaboratively with the 1000 Petals team to develop a school wide implementation model that would fit the needs of the students and staff in our district.
Receiving Our Funding
We received a grant for approximately $18,000 to fund our program! We coined this work “The Resiliency Project”. The rollout was intended to be simple and facilitate staff buy-in. Staff participation would not only create sustainability, but also address the element of staff wellness.
We worked with 1000 Petals staff to develop a Move Mindfully® scope and sequence that was customized for our students. We began with a staff workshop, then classroom consultations and finally visuals for classrooms and hallways.
Here are some data to summarize our year of implementation:
- 18 staff members completed a mindfulness book study and set individual implementation goals.
- >7 teachers received coaching in the form of 30 minute mindful lessons with students and the teachers.
- About 85% of all Monday’s this school year had a Mindful Monday announcement.
- 85% of staff agree that the Resiliency Project increases awareness to pause throughout the day.
Students, staff and families were talking about mindfulness. I know that this model was a success because our staff chose to continue this learning at our final end of the year staff development. The grant served as the catalyst for a sustainable cultural change.
Note from 1000 Petals:
Here are other available grants that have a history of funding Move Mindfully® programming.
- Action for Healthy Kids
- Action for Healthy Kids provides a variety of tools and resources to help schools implement health and wellness programs that can help your school become a place where kids learn to lead healthier lives, eat nutritious foods, are physically active and better prepared to learn each day. Get started today!
- Statewide Health Improvement Partnership
- The Statewide Health Improvement Partnership (SHIP) supports community-driven solutions to expand opportunities for active living, healthy eating and commercial tobacco-free living.
- Title 1
- “Safe and Healthy Students” describes physical activity, emotional supports and community building as allowable SSAE uses of funds.
- Move Mindfully® programming falls within the scope of School Wide Positive Behavior Interventions (PBIS) funding options.
- Education Minnesota
- Education Minnesota offers a variety of grants and grant writing supports, many of which focus on physical, mental and emotional supports.
- PeaceMarker MN
- Read our blog post for details on obtaining this guaranteed funding from our amazing partners.
Have you received grants to receive your programming for mindfulness and movement? Share your experiences in the comments!
Tanya Holub and 1000 Peals Team