Transforming Difficulties into Lasting Strengths

I'd like to tell you about the work we've been doing this year...

We've been busy starting a new program at Bayside Martin Luther King Jr. Academy in Marin City.  

If you don’t know about Bayside MLK, you might enjoy learning more about this amazing school where more than 90% of the students are people of color from low-income families, rising up to transform difficulties into lasting strengths.

As we have worked to launch this program, we’ve learned that many people in the North Bay are unaware that a community of color exists in Marin County.

We invite you to discover the history of Marin City, how many black families were restricted by local zoning from living in or buying homes in other parts of Marin County... and how to help heal the generational trauma in our neighboring community.

I'd also like to tell you the story of how mindfulness has impacted one particular student, a boy who is very dear to me ...

When I first met DeAndre*, a second grader at BMLK, he was sitting on the floor, arms wrapped protectively around his knees, his head tucked down in anger.  The many immediate needs of other students left DeAndre going unnoticed. 

When I approached him, he tucked his head more deeply between his knees.  He remained there until I left the classroom. As I headed for the door, I turned back to see him looking in my direction.  I smiled and his eyes softened.

The next week I arrived in the classroom during a period of silent reading.  DeAndre asked if I would read with him.  We sat together for some time as he struggled to sound out even the simplest words.

On my next visit, he asked if he could help lead the class in our mindfulness practice. DeAndre sat next to me, taking care to demonstrate great self-regulation.

Last week in his second grade class, I shared a kid-friendly lesson on how mindfulness positively impacts our neurobiology and how we can turn positive experiences into healthy neural structure.  Students were invited to name a few things that make them happy. 

DeAndre named mindfulness and his mindfulness teacher.

This little boy who I found curled up on the floor in anger, is now leading his class in a practice that helps generate lasting mental health and well-being.  

Because of mindfulness, DeAndre is taking pride in his learning and has had the opportunity to feel cared for and supported. Because of mindfulness — and the generosity of our donors — DeAndre did not go unnoticed.   

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While our funding is under review for renewal, to help ensure that our services at Bayside MLK continue, we need your help.

All donations directly benefit the students and teachers at Bayside Martin Luther King Jr. Academy, where we are providing wrap-around care to students in TK - 8th Grade, faculty, and support staff.

If you feel moved to make a donation, you can do so by clicking here.  

Thank you for the support you've already given — and for considering this request.

Wishing you a very happy holiday season,

Chelsea True
Founder, Joyful Mind Project

* DeAndre’s name his been changed for confidentiality.