“As a young girl, Flourish was my sanctuary after school. I loved having a place that felt safe and welcoming and where I could be completely myself. Spending time reflecting, making art, cooking, and talking to my peers helped me to build self-confidence and empathy. Given how much pressure there can be to excel academically, having a place where we could focus on our emotions and learn about who we were, was enormously helpful and needed. Without the freedom to express myself and truly be heard, I can say with certainty that I would not be as confident and comfortable with myself as I am now.”
It is time for Flourish. We are in a societal crisis: children are struggling with more anxiety, depression and suicide ideation than we have seen in history. It is time to bring children back to their roots of human connection through creativity, kindness, laughter, wellness tools and learning more about their emotional intelligence and how it can help them with lifelong success both professionally and personally.
Flourish is a K-8 teacher- led curriculum, based upon years of scientific research, that teaches kids how to be in a healthy relationship with themselves and with other human beings. Flourish teaches students to access and rely upon the roots of their support system: their community, their resiliency and their own emotions. Flourish creates time and space in the school day for students to learn lessons they sorely need but are too often left out of the classroom: lessons about conflict resolution, compassion, self-awareness, empathy and cooperation. Believing the studies that technology can negatively impact a student’s social-emotional health, Flourish does not ask students to watch videos or to use pre-made materials, rather it asks students to use art, open communication and their greatest asset: their emotional intelligence, to improve their social-emotional health. With Flourish, students experience intimate, student-centered and person-to-person connections.
THE FLOURISH PROGRAM
Flourish is a 10-week program using art, mindfulness, circle time, and a student volunteer project to create lifelong tools the students can access when they need or are giving support.
It is based upon these life principles:
- Learning to access and accept all their emotions.
- Learning how they hold emotions in their bodies, which can cause physical distress and cognitive challenges.
- Learning how to make better decisions.
- Learning how their decisions can affect other people positively and negatively.
- Learning how to accept and grow from their failures.
- Learning how to say no.
- Learning that their needs and goals matter.
- Learning that they are not alone in life and that they are supported by a classroom of caring students and teachers.
To create a program that allows the classroom teacher to enhance the students’ mental wellbeing and connection to self and others. To strengthen a child’s tools around resiliency, self-esteem, confidence, and self- worth. To teach students how to access their internal world of emotions in order to have a healthy external world of friendships, school, and extracurricular activities. To create a more balanced child in order to handle challenging situations as an adolescent. Similar to schools P.E. or physical education programs, we believe that all schools should have an M.E. or Mental Education program to support overall health and wellbeing.
- To build stronger students who will have deeper access to their emotions.
- To give children tools to deal with their emotions.
- To combat the high rates of anxiety, depression, suicide, and addiction in children and young adults.
- To teach social and emotional skills around conflict resolution, team dynamics, and decision-making.
- To experience being vulnerable in order to make deeper connections with their classmates.
- To teach how to let go of toxic and unhealthy emotions.
- To feel that they are not alone in life and they can always reach out to other people for support.