Minds Over Matter Initiative hosts program for teachers

October 2, 2017

Minds Over Matter Initiative, a Lewes-based nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering individuals through mindfulness education, conducted teacher inservice programs for faculty and staff members at The Jefferson School in Georgetown and Kids Cottage Drop-In Play and Learning Center in Rehoboth Beach in August.

Focusing on the basic tenets of mindfulness, including a grounding in and appreciation for the present moment, Karen Barwick and Lisa Rector, founding members of Minds Over Matter Initiative, taught participants how the practice of mindfulness could benefit them personally as well as in the classroom.

Through various exercises like mindful breathing and mindful listening, teachers and staff of the two schools were introduced to concepts which promote concentration and focus, decrease tension and stress, enhance conflict resolution skills and increase self-awareness.

"A lot of our teachers use yoga in the classroom as a way to relax and refocus the children so that they may be able to engage in their tasks," said Taryn Burris, chief administrator of Kids Cottage. "I thought it would be helpful to get the teachers trained in mindfulness, and that's when I thought of Minds Over Matter to help us."

The Jefferson School, now in its second year of Minds Over Matter Initiative's school program, has nearly all of its students, from kindergarten through eighth grade, learning about and practicing mindfulness techniques. The inservice Aug. 30 was an opportunity for faculty and staff to continue developing their mindfulness skills and make plans for incorporating mindfulness into their curriculum for the upcoming school year.

"They were very engaged in creating a school vision for their mindfulness program," said Barwick.

Minds Over Matter Initiative is dedicated to providing individuals with tools to help achieve and maintain focus, inner calm and resilience. The practice of mindfulness is free, easily accessible and promotes an appreciation for and grounding in the present moment.

For more information about Minds Over Matter Initiative or the practice of mindfulness, go to