The students at Garfield Elementary School in Oakland, California face many barriers to academic success. Despite these challenges, they show up to school each day ready to succeed.
“The weight that many of my students carry on their shoulders is far beyond what any six-year-old should have to handle,” says their teacher, Teach For America alum Roya Bazaei (Bay Area ’12). “But still, 24 bubbly faces bounce into my classroom each morning, ready and eager to learn.”
Not long ago, Ms. Bazaei began a personal mindfulness practice that has brought joy into her life, and as a result, has made her classroom a calmer and more productive place for her students. Since embarking on her own journey of personal mindfulness, Ms. Bazaei has facilitated a mindfulness practice for her students—one in which she hopes to receive continued training in order to increase its effectiveness.
Encouraged by the impact her own personal practice has had on her kids, Ms. Bazaei has turned to DonorsChoose.org to raise funds to cover the tuition of a yoga teacher training designed for educators seeking to introduce yoga and wellness practices in the classroom. She looks forward to the continued transformation a regular wellness practice will bring to her kids, many of whom are living in poverty. She believes wellness tools like mindfulness and yoga will empower her students to love, take care of, and advocate for themselves.
“In a school like mine, which serves a low-income, minority population, teaching wellness sends a message to students that they matter, in a world where a lot of forces are already making them feel like they don’t,” she says.
Please consider supporting Ms. Bazaei’s project today—and thank you, as always, for supporting teachers and the kids they serve.