This is a time when we are all able to slow down and appreciate the many ways others are there for us, ways that communities support each other, and the most essential ways that we are one human family.
Like other service providers who reach youth through the public school system, our in-school programming is on hiatus. However, we continue to be there for our students, teachers, and school staff in the ways that we can.
The week that schools closed, we offered stress reduction webinars to staff at the host schools that we serve, and shared that resource to the Philadelphia School District, so they could invite all of their 6,700 teachers to join a Zoom video/audio webinar offering mindfulness and perspective shifting tools to assist with stress reduction and self-compassion.
Classroom teachers who hosted the program this year were emailed flyers reminding them to share the Inner Strength mindfulness audio and video online library with their students via Google Classroom and paper Learning Packets. This way students can continue to do the practices they learned over the year, especially at this time when the natural teen longing to socialize with peers and be active has been curtailed.
To make the most out of the support we have already received this year, we are open to developing new creative programming that meets these times. We will update you as we receive input from the District, principals, and teachers to find out what makes the most sense and will be of best use.
As you might recall, Inner Strength was already at work building a mobile application. We are happy to share that we had our first in-depth meeting with our developers. This mobile app will provide interactive and social networking possibilities for teens in the Inner Strength program. This was going to be a great addition to our programming, and now more than ever, its value has become clear. From a backend perspective, the mobile app will also provide valuable insights into usage, what teens want most, and how they are using self-reflection supports. Then we can share more specifics about how your generosity is enabling youth to lead happier, more fulfilled, and more purposeful lives.
Finally, 21 participants began the Inner Strength Teacher Training yesterday. It is our most diverse cohort to date, and I look forward to training these teachers and adding more capacity for the years to come.
We are all in this together and we will get through to the other side. Let’s make the journey as generous and warm-hearted as possible, then when the immediate threat of illness recedes, we can carry on with those more compassionate values and keep creating a better world for us all.
Stay safe, with warm regards,