Sunday, November 11th’s collection was in support of delivering a mini mindfulness curriculum as part of the after school program known as BAAM (Building African American Minds).
First, a little about BAAM: BAAM was started by a local African American couple who wanted to provide a college scholarship for a Talbot County African American student. When no one applied for the scholarship, they decided to start with younger children and founded an after school program for African American boys in elementary and middle school. Since then, several BAAM graduates have gone on to college with BAAM scholarships.
Second, a little about the mindfulness curriculum. Essentially it is designed to empower children to be their best selves, teaching them how to calm their brains with mindfulness practices so that they always have a chance to think about how they want to act instead of just reacting. This curriculum has actually been heavily researched. It has proven to increase student’s ability to concentrate, improve their grades, reduce conflict, boost their self-esteem, and build a school culture of empathy and understanding.
With the help of Community Mediation , Ray Earnest delivered this program last year to the 5th grade group, and now BAAM would like to expand it to grades 1-5. We are looking for 2 sorts of help — money to buy 14 more curriculum books and volunteers to work with the kids . Volunteers would spend 1 hour per week with the children as a member of a 3 person team, and this team structure, of course, allows volunteers to take off for vacations or sick days as needed. We will have a training in December to introduce the curriculum and provide some pointers. Please talk to Ray Earnest if you are interested ( firstname.lastname@example.org or 410 310 4985).