To better help teachers and school administrators support the mental well-being of their students, Cigna Foundation is partnering with Mindful Schools and providing a $750,000 grant to fund mindfulness intervention programs for school-aged children. The grant is part of Cigna Foundation’s Healthier Kids For Our Future® program, a five-year, $25 million global initiative focused on improving the health and well-being of children.
Mindful Schools is a national non-profit organization empowering educators to create equitable and joyful learning environments by cultivating awareness, resilience and compassionate action. The organization offers online and in-person professional development training for educators to learn and share mindfulness practice with youth, and bases its approach on research which demonstrates a link between teacher and student stress.
“We’re proud to further our support and commitment to investing in the social and emotional well-being of school communities,” said Susan Stith, vice president, diversity, equity and inclusion, civic affairs, and Cigna Foundation. “The COVID-19 pandemic has created extended periods of stress, isolation and trauma. This grant and collaboration with Mindful Schools is another key component of our multi-year Building Equity & Equality Program, and will help to provide immediate support and resources for children and educators, while also providing a foundation for longer-term mental and physical wellbeing.”
“Educators serve on the front lines of navigating our nation’s social challenges,” said Seewan Eng, executive director, Mindful Schools. “The pandemic, divisive election, and growing spotlight on racial equality have added stress and new demands on teachers and students. As we navigate today's uncertainty and plan for a transition back to in-person schooling, educators need resources to prioritize self-care and skillfully meet the needs of their students. The partnership with Cigna Foundation will help ensure children are welcomed back into classrooms that support their well-being and provide a strong foundation for them to learn and thrive.”
The schools will be selected through the Healthier Kids For Our Future® initiative, and will be provided two years of mindfulness education and training for teachers and administrators. With this training, educators can implement mindfulness curriculum to help develop skills such as compassion and resilience in students. The goal of the two-year program is to provide educators with the skills to teach and facilitate mindfully to create safe, joyful and inclusive school communities.
Since its launch in 2019, Healthier Kids For Our Future® has awarded over $8 million in grants to nonprofit organizations working to reduce childhood hunger and improve mental health in our country's youth.
For more information on the Cigna Foundation, click here.