Heartmath Stations

Grant Applicant
Marco Mora, Truckee Elementary counselor (Tahoe Truckee Unified School District)
School Site
Truckee Elementary
Grant Category
Life Skills & Health
Grant Date
2020
Description (10 points)

I would like to implement a Hearmath station in every classroom at Truckee Elementary School. Heartmath was brought to TTUSD five years ago as another way counselors can help students self-regulate their emotions and calm down. Heartmath is based on 25 years of scientific research of looking at the psychophysiology of stress, emotions, and the interactions between the heart and the brain. Heartmath, through the use of an em wave pro sensor clipped on to the earlobe, enables a student to see their heartbeat on a computer screen and see right away if they are calm, getting calm, or not calm at all and get to a place of being calm in just a few minutes. Once calm, the student is able to get back to learning in a positive state of mind. 

Specifically, I would like to request 26 laptops and sensors in order to have a dedicated system available for the students to use the Heartmath equipment and games in order to self regulate their emotions and ability to make positive choices.

Benefits of Program (10 points)

Currently at Truckee Elementary, when students need to self-regulate their emotions, they are sent to my office to see me and use my Heartmath station in order to calm down. Teachers consistently say how much they love Heartmath, but wish the kids could do it in the classroom so they are not missing the lesson. This school year, I started speaking to my principal, staff and PTO about having a Heartmath station in every room so kids are not missing learning time. They loved the idea but the funding of this project was very high in cost. I called the Heartmath Institute and asked if they would help in this endeavor. They invited me to apply for a scholarship or alternatively create a video showing how Heartmath is being used at our school and how its making a positive impact on our students. I spoke with a Heartmath representative who said Truckee Elementary qualified for a significant discount for the em wave pro sensors. Students love Heartmath for many reasons: They feel comfortable utilizing technology; they see their own heartbeat and notice if they are calm rather than someone telling them to calm down. Heartmath truly compliments strategies already in place at our school. Students have been taught to breathe in through their nose and out through their mouth from day one through mindfulness skills and through the teachings of Second Step as a way to calm their bodies, so they are comfortable with this methodology; their teachers believe in it and actively utilize this resource at our school. 

 

 

Success of Program (10 points)

Heartmath has been very successful at Truckee Elementary School. I use the stations daily for one on one with many tier two and three students on my caseload who have a very difficult time calming down due to homelife, learning issues, relationship skill deficits, etc. Every student I have worked with over the last five years love Heartmath. After the initial sessions to learn the Heartmath process occur, there are many games that can be played. But the games only work when your body is calm. The students feel a large sense of satisfaction knowing they are empowered to calm themselves down and are the only ones who have the ability to do that. Adults in their lives can tell them to take deep breaths and calm down but they have to actively make that choice and then they can see and feel the results. I teach the students that the purpose of Heartmath is to calm your heart down in order to calm your brain and then you can make good choices. The other piece of Heartmath is to achieve a sense of well being by thinking of a peaceful, calm and happy time in your life while breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth, this is called heart emotion. The ultimate goal is to gain coherence, which in layman terms is a calm body. I use the stations every day to help students to get calm before addressing issues that happen on the playground, in the cafeteria, or in class. In addition to one on one Heartmath support, I have taken the program into classrooms to demonstrate the different ways to achieve a calm body. Due to the limited amount of units I currently have, we have to break out into groups and take turns. With four stations, I can only do one classroom at a time. We all know that effective, problem-solving conversations cannot happen with people who are angry. So kids will do Heartmath for 5-10 minutes, get calm, then have the ability to speak about what occurred and problem-solve what needs to happen next

 

Implementation (10 points)

Implementation would be school-wide. Every class would be given a computer, software, and an em wave pro heart sensor to set up in a place in the classroom. All teachers would be trained at a staff meeting by me and/or Kim Bradley, Wellness Center Director for TTUSD at a staff meeting. I would then go into every classroom and train all of the students how to use heartmath in a class presentation. I would also provide a laminated procedural list to go next to each station to remind students how to utilize the program.

Can you share this grant with your grade level or subject team?

Yes, the reason for applying for this grant is to be able to implement Heartmath school wide. 

Sustainability
The program is sustainable on it's own. Over several years teachers may need new sensors, laptops, or training, which can all be provided by the school district. The initial roll-out is where the largest outlay of capital is needed.
Amount Funded
$3700.00
Individual Budget Items(s)
$5460 - HP stream 11.6 cost is $210 each x26
$1300 - Heartmath sensors general cost $150 each minus Heartmath institute discount of $100 each x26
Shipping
$0.00
$507.00
Other funding sources

Heartmath institute will award a $2,600 scholarship bringing down the cost of sensors to $1300 plus tax. 

Notes

Please visit Heartmath.com for an extensive overview of the Heartmath physiology and how it works.