HOLIDAY, Fla. — Second graders at Gulf Trace Elementary School in Pasco County are getting mindfulness training.

  • Meditation, yoga helping students in and out of classroom
  • Patty Jackson leads classes at Gulf Trace Elementary School
  • More Education headlines

"Mindfulness is about paying attention on purpose in the present moment," said Patty Jackson, Community Health Facilitator with Baycare's Behavioral Health Community Health Activation Team. 

"Being aware of what's happening for you on the inside, what you're feeling, kind of your surroundings."

Jackson leads the class for kindergarten through fifth grade in the Pasco County School District.

From meditation to yoga, the strengthening and calming exercises can help students inside and outside the classroom.

"So as we teach mindfulness to children, they learn to feel their feelings, notice, identify what's happening for them so they can make choices," said Jackson.

Jackson says it helps students focus, helps with social skills and can help them keep calm.

Students in Ms. Wood's class seem to be putting their training to work.

"After PE when we're like really pumped up because, like we have recess then we have lunch, then we have PE, it's really hard to get all that wiggle out after," said second-grader, Ethan Johnston.

"I also do deep breaths like I just did now and it normally helps to get all the things away."

The training has helped classmates with assignments, too.

"In tests, I do the "peace begins with me" because I get nervous about it," said Gabby Squires.

"It helps me like focus on the test and stuff."

The session ends with relaxation.

"If we learn to do these practices when we're calm, we're more likely to use them when we're not," said Jackson.