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Westwind Elementary School

Westwind Students Tap into Creativity for Calming Mindfulness Project

Westwind Elementary Counselor Qualimetra Chapman runs a small group session with 2nd-5th graders where the students focus on mindfulness. Through these sessions, the students incorporate strategies and activities that help them learn ways to deal with emotions and self-regulation.

“My main goal was to support classroom teachers by teaching the students the coping mechanisms needed to navigate complex emotions,” said Chapman. “I hoped that behavior, communication about big emotions, and confidence would improve.”

Chapman says after the students mastered some of the basic strategics like breathing and body scanning, they began looking at other mindfulness strategies. The students’ imaginations took flight, and their creative juices began to flow. Quickly, doodling and painting became favorites among the students as ways to manage their emotions.

“Mindfulness painting and coloring makes me feel very calm and happy,” said student Muna Stevens. Addelynn Hemanth added, “My favorite part about the mindfulness drawing is that I can just be myself and create whatever I want to. I am not stuck with one pattern, but I can do as many as I want to."

Chapman says the calming art projects took on a mind of their own, and the doodling evolved into the students wanting to share each other’s creative pages. The pages were then combined to create a Stress Relief Coloring book for Westwind staff members. “I was pleasantly surprised to find out that teachers then made copies of pages for their students,” said Chapman.

Now, a project that started with just a small group of students has expanded to many classrooms and teachers across campus. “My favorite part about doing the mindfulness project was making new friendships. I liked having fun and creating my own picture with the group of girls,” said Autumn Cage.

“My favorite part about the project is that we got to paint and that makes me calm and helps me with my struggles. If I am mad about something, I can just pick up my brush and paint,” added Alexus Cherop.

Chapman says projects like these are important because they teach life lessons like stress reduction, being present, concentration, emotional regulation, self-expression, and creativity. She’s happy that the students could find a creative outlet to help express their emotions while also sharing the techniques and strategies with their fellow students and teachers.  

“It felt like I was special and included in something good,” said Salma Sabouni. “I learned that nothing is perfect, but everything is beautiful.”


group of westwind kids holding up artwork