5th Graders at Alvarado Elementary Ponder Mindfulness

The counselor’s classroom at Alvarado Elementary was packed! 50 ten and eleven year old students gathered on the floor in a semi-circle, six people deep. I was invited to speak with these 5th graders about mindfulness.This was a very engaged group, with no shortage of curiosity and questions.

We discussed the power of our minds and how what we think directly affects the way we feel. We practiced mindfulness exercises, including slowing down the process of eating a single grape and all of the sensory discoveries made in that small amount of time. The classroom went from high energy, to calm, to a felt sense of discovery.

Toward the end of the class, nature gifted us with a swift, strong rainstorm. We were able to slow down, feel the cool wind pouring through the open door, smell the strong scent of rain and be silent all together as a group, so we could hear the rain on the roof. It was nature’s gift to us. We were able to apply everything we had just discussed, in order to have a full and rich experience of life itself.

“Your talk today was very interesting and inspiring.The mindfulness exercises we did were very fun, and we learned helpful techniques to be mindful and aware in the world.You make me want to work with the same kinds of people as you do.”  -Student at Alvarado-

” On Monday April 20th, Ms. Devon Finnegan, parent to a 5th grader at our school kept fifty 5th graders mesmerized by sharing with them her own story leading to her present career as a Mindfulness Teacher/Counselor. Devon very skillfully walked the students through activities that familiarized the students with a Mindful state of mind and being, teaching them a few skills that will help them stay in “the here and now” and mindful of the present. These included mindful breathing, imagery and exercise in tasting a grape mindfuly as way to get the most out of the experience of chewing on a grape. Devon was able to keep the students engaged and attentive. I am confident they all walked away with looking at chewing a grape in a whole new way…..”

“Thanks Devon for your time and sharing your story and wisdom.”

 Behjat Shirazi MA, LPCC

Professional School Counselor

Alvarado Elementary School

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