Mindful Life Project (MLP) delivers school-based mindfulness and SEL programs to underserved elementary and middle schools in the Bay Area. The program is adopted from the Mindful Schools curriculum (www.mindfulschools.org) with adjustments incorporated to address self-awareness, self-regulation, resilience, empathy, and social awareness.
MLP was founded in 2012 by JG Larochette, the organization’s Executive Director. As an elementary school teacher in Richmond, California, Larochette became concerned about the social and emotional needs of his students. He experimented with various ways to address these needs and began to see positive behavioral and academic results when incorporating mindfulness, yoga, expressive arts, and performing arts into the classroom. Today, MLP integrates these techniques into its three main offerings, Rise Up, Mindful Community, and Mindful Educator Training.
Rise Up is a school intervention program that delivers mindfulness training through the arts, yoga, and hip hop to small groups of high-risk students referred by teachers and administrators. These participants are partnered with high-performing students to help build a supportive community. It teaches two 50-minute sessions per week throughout the school year, organized in three 8-week, themed rotations. In 2019, Rise Up reached 240 students at six Title I schools.
Mindful Community offers weekly 25-minute mindfulness and SEL instruction to each classroom in a school, to teachers, parents, and other interested community members. In 2019, this program served more than 10,000 students at 22 Title 1 elementary and middle schools in the Bay Area.
Mindful Educator Training is a 2-day program designed for educators and other youth-serving professionals. The program offers curriculums for TK-2nd grade and grades 3-8. The training covers the fundamentals of bringing mindfulness and SEL practices into the classroom through “culturally relevant pedagogy.” In 2019, MLP trained 500 educators and 150 parents. For those adults wishing to go deeper, MLP’s Mindful Educator Fellowship hosts a six-week intensive to help teachers build a personal mindfulness practice, and to learn to teach mindfulness and SEL practices to their students. More than 250 teachers, 50 school psychologists, 60 occupational therapists, and 75 speech therapists have participated in the fellowship.
To date, MLP curricula have served more than 25,000 students.
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