MELBOURNE, NOVEMBER 2020
Twelve schools in Maroondah, in Melbourne’s east, have been given free access to a mindfulness program through a charitable partnership between Frasers Property and Smiling Mind.
The Maroondah Positive Education Network has been pivotal in connecting the schools to the Smiling Mind School Program and is hopeful even more schools in Maroondah will sign on.
Access to the program for free has been made possible through a three-year charitable partnership between Smiling Mind and Frasers Property Australia. Now in its third year, so far the partnership has reached 72 schools around Australia.
Edwina Ricci, project manager at the Maroondah Positive Education Network, says the opportunity that the partnership is providing aligns well with work the network is doing with schools.
“Our organisation looks at ways that Positive Education can increase the wellbeing and educational outcomes of students in Maroondah, especially through targeted wellbeing initiatives such as mindfulness,” Ms Ricci says.
“What we love about the Smiling Mind School Program is that is has the potential to reach every teacher and every child and it’s an incredible opportunity for schools to access the program for free through the support of Frasers Property.
“Our role has been to raise awareness of the opportunity with schools in our network and encourage them to get on board. Schools have been really quick to take up the opportunity, that’s because Smiling Mind has an excellent reputation and is an evidence-based program. We are really grateful that our schools have this opportunity.”
The 12 Maroondah schools to sign up for the Smiling Mind program to date are:
Dr Addie Wootten, Chief Executive Officer at Smiling Mind says some of the benefits of introducing mindfulness into schools can include:
“Mindfulness tools are extremely important in helping people cope with challenges and are even more important when facing extremely difficult circumstances such as a global pandemic,” Dr Wootten says.
“Now, more than ever, teachers, students and parents are the ones who need access to tools that will support them through these challenging times and help them build awareness and resilience around mental health.
“Young people are particularly vulnerable to mental health issues, with one in four secondary students and one in seven primary students suffering from mental illness.
“We are delighted to see new schools signing on for our program during a time when it’s needed most. The more people we can educate about the benefits of mindfulness and provide strategies and tools to incorporate these into the classroom, the better.”
Ranna Alkadamani, General Manager People & Culture, Frasers Property says it is wonderful to see the partnership with Smiling Mind have such an impact at a local level.
“This is a good example of how important community networks are its fantastic that our support has been able to reach so many schools in Maroondah,” Ms Alkadamani says.
“Our work is about building resilient communities from the ground up and schools are a huge part of well-connected communities, so this is one way we have been able to bring long-term benefits to children.”