The Mindfulness Director Initiative (MDI) makes the transformative power of mindfulness a reality for school communities by facilitating the comprehensive integration of mindfulness into schools through the Mindfulness Director Model. We match interested schools with highly qualified Mindfulness Directors and then provide implementation support that leads to a thriving culture of mindfulness in each partner school community. Our aim is to partner with schools of all demographics—public and private, urban and rural, financially strong and under-resourced. Together we form a sustainable and an ever-expanding network of school-based mindfulness programs.
Schools and Mindfulness Director candidates must apply to MDI to be considered for the program. After a rigorous vetting process, MDI will facilitate the integration of mindfulness in three stages.
During Stage 1, MDI identifies schools and Mindfulness Director candidates that have the highest likelihood of successful implementation, and then matches them. The essential process of match-making is thoughtfully conducted after MDI has learned about the specific needs and culture of each school community and the strengths and assets of each Mindfulness Director candidate.
Stage 2 is a formal three-year partnership during which MDI provides support and accountability to the school and the Mindfulness Director. Support and accountability can take the following forms:
Implementation Support: MDI will develop a comprehensive support system for schools and Directors that ensures the highest amount of impact at all schools. This support system includes mentoring as well as access to our network of Mindfulness Directors and their full set of resources. Our goal is to facilitate the sharing of experiences and best practices among all partner schools.
Financial Support: For some schools, it will be a fiscal challenge to add a new position to the school staff. Support from MDI can come in the form of a grant. Our goal is to help each school sustainably fund the Mindfulness Director position through a gradual release of fiscal responsibility and/or support in fundraising efforts.
Annual Review and Evaluation: MDI will conduct annual reviews of each school and Mindfulness Director in order to ensure integrity during implementation. Our goal is to support successful program development at each partner school.
Research: During Stage 2 we begin conducting research so that the success and challenges experienced at each school serve to enrich understanding in the field of school-based mindfulness. Our goal is to ensure that we provide our network and the larger school-based mindfulness community with guidelines and practices that are backed by research and experience. We are committed to constant growth and learning.
During Stage 3, schools stay engaged in our networked community through which Mindfulness Directors support other each other as they gain expertise and experience by sharing best practices and serving as thought-partners. As Mindfulness Directors continue to refine their practice and program, they will work synergistically to build ever-stronger and richer communities. We imagine a world where every member of every school community has access to mindful teachings, an experienced mindfulness teacher, and supportive mindfulness practice groups, with the result being more resilient, compassionate, and effective school communities that better prepare future generations to thrive and flourish in the face of personal, relational, and global challenges.