GCS Premiers UAE’s First Mindfulness Room

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Rola Ghadban, GCS Mindfulness & Well-Being Coordinator

For a few years now I have been working as a Grade 2 teacher at Greenfield Community School and have had the rewarding experience of teaching mindfulness and witnessing its supremely positive results. Firsthand, I witnessed significant improvements in students’ focus, emotional balance, and most importantly, the ability to apply mindful breathing techniques in real-life contexts. Throughout the course of this process, I began to realize that sharing mindfulness techniques is one of the most fundamentally valuable skills that I can offer our students. It directly correlated with their levels of happiness and positivity, thus began my mission to share this powerful life skill.

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Students at the soft opening of the Mindfulness Room

While meeting with Mr. Gary Mallon, the Head of Secondary, regarding a presentation at the What Works Happiness Conference a few months ago, I had an epiphany to transform a space in the school into a Mindfulness Room. The Mindfulness Room would include all things positive for our students to experience. Luckily my idea was met with support, and we created a diverse team to help take it from idea stage to execution. The team was carefully chosen, inclusive of all parts of the community including teachers, students, and parents. Gradually, the vision evolved from a simple sketch, and our high school students were asked to participate in a mural competition to design the artwork for the walls. As a team, we were proud to select two talented artists to paint a remarkable mural for the Mindfulness Room.

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The artistic students who designed the mural

Working within limited budget parameters, the school community truly came together with generous donations in various capacities. After meetings with carpenters, facilities personnel, painters, and many others along the way, the Mindfulness Room began to take shape. With the help of my committed team, this dream come to life! The room is now inclusive of a Sensory Room to stimulate the senses, in addition to a Gratitude Tree, a Mandala Station, a Positive Affirmation wall, a Reading Area, and a Guided Breathing Area.

 

On the 12th of December, we staged the soft opening with the heads of Taaleem, my team, and a few students who helped to showcase the room- the first of its kind in the region! Those who attended were moved by the special space that was developed out of love and good intentions. It was an emotional moment for me to see this vision manifest into reality!

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At the soft opening of the GCS Mindfulness & Well-Being Room a student leads the group in a mindfulness practice

The grand opening is scheduled for Wednesday, January 4th 2017, with the Minister of Happiness, her excellency Ohood bint Khalfan Al RoumiI and KHDA Chairman, Dr Abdulla Al Karam in attendance. I am eager to welcome the community to experience this space, and first and foremost, granting the students time to experience and benefit from the first ever Mindfulness Room!

Contributed by: Rola Ghadban

Grade 2 Teacher and Mindfulness & Well-Being Coordinator

Greenfield Community School

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