Youth Support through Social Emotional Learning

NewYork-Presbyterian Ambulatory Care Network

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In-Class Mindfulness Exercise (ICME)

Research shows that weaving stress-reduction programs into the class curriculum can improve students' academic performance, self-esteem, concentration, and behavior problems.


To help students develop stress management skills that promote effective learning and well-being beyond elementary school.

PS.128: Taking time to Breath as you Pose like a tree! Third graders in a Tree Pose during In-Class Mindfulness Exercise (ICME)


  • Increase awareness and use of stress management/coping strategies
  • Improve emotional regulation
  • Increase concentration in the classroom
  • Ease transitions during school hours (i.e., between classroom periods, after lunch, etc.)
  • Increase the use of positive coping skills outside of school through in-school practices
  • Enhance the social-emotional learning curriculum with mindfulness exercises during class sessions


Developed by Dr. Evelyn Montañez for elementary school-aged youth, In-Class Mindfulness Exercises (ICME) actively engage classroom teachers and their students in mind/body exercises that promote learning and well-being. ICME services are adaptable to meet the needs of a classroom and are designed to be delivered in a developmentally and age-appropriate manner.

Tools have been created for both PreK-2nd graders and 3rd - 5th graders. Parents/caregivers are introduced to mind/body exercises through several psycho-education workshops to promote healthy coping skills at home and school. Independent of grade, ICME only requires a few minutes a day at any point during the day. It does not require rigorous training, constant follow-up by trainers, or costly materials and handouts. It is a universal concept that does not interfere with philosophy, religion, or creed.

Because of mindfulness strategies and test anxiety reduction strategies, as well as the instruction going on in the classroom, this year we reduced our student's level 1 (which are the students not approaching state standards) by 17%.
-M. Hernandez, School Principal

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NewYork-Presbyterian Ambulatory Care Network