Creativity & Mindfulness at GAMP High School

by Inner Strength Team

Lisa Laney, one of our instructors is currently running our signature Inner Strength teen program for middle school students at Girard Academic Music Program (GAMP). Nestled in the heart of South Philly, GAMP nurtures students from grades 5th through 12th, with an emphasis on creating community through creativity in the arts. The school’s inclusive and adaptive environment is a perfect setting for the mindfulness curriculum and the students are inquisitive and open to exploring their experiences, feelings, and observations. As one of her students explained, “Mindfulness has helped me think more about my feelings and the way I think, and be calm.”

GAMP fuses history and innovation. Housed within the iconic Edgar Allen Poe school building (the famous writer used to live in Philadelphia and has various memorials to his work in the city), the school also is equipped with state-of-the-art facilities, including a beautiful professional theater and new gymnasium and cafeteria. These common spaces and open alcoves for discussions help students feel invested in and invited to dream large. The teaching staff supports students’ social and emotional growth, emphasizing warm and inclusive community.

In this environment, the Inner Strength tools are reinforced. Mindfulness sessionsare integrated into GAMP’s academic curriculum, highlighting the non-separation between students’ self-discovery and academic growth. Lisa works closely with the classroom teachers and they in turn support the Inner Strength program through their own participation and inquiry.

When asked what they have learned through our program, students said,

“Mindfulness has helped me think more about my feelings and the way I think.”

“Inner Strength helped me gain more friends and better my relationships.”

“It taught me how to consider others and my surrounding and I’ve been a lot calmer.”

“I learned more self-control and how to listen more.”

“I found more peace.”

“After a long day it just feels nice to sit and relax.

Nice reflections from these middle school students as they navigate this stage of their education. And thanks Lisa for your excellent guidance!

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