NOBLESVILLE, Ind — Being mindful is a skill all ages can develop. Students at Hazel Dell Elementary School in Noblesville are learning to practice their focus on the present through an after school club called Mindful Mystics. Due to COVID-19 safeguards, the students now meet virtually on Zoom twice a week without their masks.
"They all want that face time and that connection," said the club's leader, Racquel Boos-McNew.
Boos-McNew leads high-ability fourth graders during the school day. As the club leader, she finds students are open, eager and earnest in being their best.
"What's something they can do to be a better physical person? What's something they can do to be a better friend? What's something they can do to be a better family member? I do see that many do take that to heart," Boos-McNew said.
The topics vary and are often accompanied by focus attention exercises. Students are encouraged to hold up their fist and stick a thumb out on one hand, a pointer finger and the other and switch back and forth. It's tricky —harder it seems, and that's the point.
"We really want to bring our headspace into the moment, so it's a way to get us to be present and focused on a specific task," Boos-McNew said. "It's really hard to think of moving your fingers in a direction that isn't natural and think about how you're still upset that somebody took the ball from you at recess, or how you had that fight with dad before you got on the bus. All of your attention is on, 'What am I doing with my hands and how do I transition from one move to the next?'"
They also do Yoga. The students enjoy the movement and embrace the challenge.
"All the tactics teach you to focus like balancing you have to focus your body on that pose and not like focus on something else. You have to focus on what you're doing right then and there," said fourth-grader Brayden Boos.
They also talk about discipline and taking responsibility.
"You can take care of yourself and, like, eat healthy and help yourself, clean your room and keep yourself and you can try and learn, like, your best self and just try and be your best," said 10-year-old Clover Plank.
These are conversations that create a community and set up students for success.
"It helps because it's like, 'well you aren't the only one who wants to be mindful,'" Plank said.
Mindful Mystics is an after-school volunteer club that is in sync with Noblesville Schools' larger foundational belief that a student's social and emotional wellness leads to academic success and a Best You.
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