The McCrorey YMCA objective is to positively impact the wellbeing of students, after school staff and families. By practicing mindful awareness in the classroom, students and after school staff can reduce their stress, while improving their ability to focus and engage with the curriculum. Inner Explorer and McCrorey YMCA offer access to daily audio-guided mindful practices, as well as educator training and mentoring for every center and family in the learning community. The collective seeks to address four key goals: provide daily mindful practice as a proven preventative wellness measure, improve cognitive development, build resilience through local expertise and capacity through educator training and mentoring programs, and link home and school through family participation.
YMCA Charlotte and Inner Explorer recognize the value of increasing access to stress reducing, mindful awareness resources. Inner Explorer provides evidence-based wellness resources through daily practices to help combat the growing number of youth mental wellness concerns nationally.
We are committed to cultivating a learning community that stimulates cognitive development while closing the achievement gap. Inner Explorer’s program positively impacts students' ability to think critically in school and in life. Implementing just 10 minutes of daily mindfulness practice in the classroom offers a sustainable way to improve cognitive development.
Mccrorey YMCA seeks to foster resilience by building local mindful expertise and capacity by access to training and mentoring programs. When everyone in the community understands and practices mindfulness, it positively impacts well-being and culture.
We encourage families to participate in the same stress reduction practices their children are hearing in the classroom. A shared practice offers caregivers an opportunity to experience the benefits of daily mindfulness.
Mindfulness is the fundamental human ability to be present, manage emotional reactions to stressful situations and everyday surroundings. Over 9,000 studies prove the benefits of daily mindfulness for children and adults. A growing number of these studies focus on how it can improve overall well-being, school culture, and cognitive development.
Enhances Mental Health
Daily mindfulness is a proven countermeasure to chronic stress, which is often associated with Mental Wellness concerns. Mindfulness teaches effective strategies to calm the central nervous system (CNS) and attenuate the body's natural fight/flight/freeze stress response.
Integrating mindfulness prepares members to focus and learn. Classrooms that practice daily report a 28% increase in Math grades, a 21% increase in Science grades, and a 15% increase in average G.P.A.
Cultivates Lifelong Skills
Mindfulness teaches valuable skills such as self-awareness and emotional regulation. As a result, members and adults learn how to manage big emotions healthily, and treat one another with empathy and compassion.
School and center staff can access the Inner Explorer Program – a series of 180 daily mindfulness practices aligned with the school year, a Summer Series, and additional extension activities – by filling out their club information in the “For Staff” tab.
Families can get started using the InnerExplorer HOME app, a companion mobile app with mindfulness practices available in English or Spanish. Register by filling out your school information in the "For Families" tab.
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"Children and young adults today are experiencing more stress, anxiety, and trauma than ever before. Trauma and stress negatively impact brain function and often lead to impulsive, behavioral outbursts; as a result, they may find themselves entangled in the juvenile justice system. Members need tools that will help them slow down, make better choices, and avoid acting out of anger. Mindfulness is a practice that teaches individuals to do just that. Through mindfulness, children learn skills such as self-awareness and self-control, which allows them to avoid the pitfalls of impulsive behavior. As a juvenile judge, I work with some of the most troubled youth in America - if we can teach them (and all members) to practice mindfulness, they will have a better chance to be successful, law-abiding citizens. I have seen the transformation first hand and think it's critically important that we do this in every single school." -Judge Frank Syzmanski, Third Circuit Court of Atlanta (Wayne County) Family-Juvenile Division
“Mindfulness transforms school culture, plus empowers children and adults to create positive changes in their own lives and their communities." -David Metler, Mindfulness Coordinator at Detroit Leadership Academy
"We began using Inner Explorer with four programs in the Detroit Public Schools, but it didn't take long to see the value of the program and expand it to all 21 sites throughout the county. Inner Explorer's platform fits nicely in our afterschool program and provides manageable tools for the staff without needing intense training or background in mindfulness. It can be easily interwoven into the afterschool space and gives us the flexibility to serve all age groups." -Ms. Carla Chinavare, Whole Family School Age Services Director at Wayne Metropolitan Community Action Agency