KANSAS CITY, Kan. - Sixth-graders in Penny Seifert’s class are used to solving problems, but this 90-minute class is a little unique.
Throughout the week, students will spend a few minutes meditating.
"People really love it, like they enjoy it,” 6th-grader Mason Opitz said. “Every time she says we're doing it, I'm like ‘yes!’"
This is the first year Turner teachers are doing trauma training.
“What trauma training is is it allows staff to have a new outlook on how they interact with students and how they approach students. A lot of our students go through what I would never have experienced and cannot relate to,” Seifert said.
She said meditation was mentioned to her from the school counselor as a way for students to deal with trauma.
“She said it'd be a great way to do Mindful Minutes, where we just take 10 to 15 minutes out of the day and just relax and let the kids just kind of turn their brains off,” she said.
For this new initiative called Mindful Minutes, Seifert uses the fitness app called Aaptiv.
“I use Aaptiv in my own life; I use it for running,” she said. “I tweeted it out, and said hey I'm using Aaptiv for this and within hours, they called me and said we want to know more, we want to know what you're doing.”
Aaptiv gave complimentary memberships to the school, providing all the teachers a chance to bring meditation into their classrooms.
“That’s what we are aiming to do, is really serve as a greater support in anyone's general wellness,” Aaptiv Marketing and Communications Director Clara Artschwager said. “I think what Penny did and how she introduced it to the students to serve as an amazing example of that and that's what inspired us really to extend the complimentary memberships to the school because we hope it carries just that much value to them too.”
Students listened to words of affirmation as they meditated.
“It makes you feel good about yourself and about others,” 6th-grader Phoebe Ramirez said. “Some people just think that they're not loved, some think that they're not cared about and they really are.”
This is the first year Turner has used the app. Seifert said she plans on implementing this for years to come.