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Back to School with Inner Strength

The following was originally published in the ISF September 2018 newsletter. Join our mailing list here to receive upcoming newsletters. Inner Strength programs are going into this year strong Today I finally put the finishing touches on our Fall Inner Strength teaching schedule. Even as I was sending out the confirmations, two schools called to see if we could accommodate …

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Transformation through Mindfulness Practice

Enhancing teen development and wellness through contemplative learning [The following is an interview with writer and educator Amy Edelstein, conducted by the Omega Center. Amy is the author of The Conscious Classroom: the Inner Strength System™ for Transforming the Teenage Mind and founder of an innovative high school program promoting teen development and wellness through mindfulness practice and contemplative learning. The interview was originally …

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Love in a Fractured World: Wholeness in Education

A contemplative approach to self regulation [This article was written for The Omega Center blog, run by Ilia Delio of Villanova University. Please visit the blog here to read more inspiring voices curated by Ilia Delio, award-winning author of 17 books.] When I was asked to write for the Omega Center on Love in a Fractured World, I could think of no better …

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Diamonds in the Rough

The following was originally published in the ISF January 2018 newsletter. Join our mailing list here to receive upcoming newsletters. Reflections on potential During the Fall I piloted the program in a new school. It is a turn-around school, one that had been on the persistently failing, persistently dangerous list for many years. Over the last few school years, a …

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Relax, Heal, Learn by Dale Mezzacappa – The Notebook

The Inner Strength Teen Program just received some insightful coverage in the April 11th issue of The Notebook, Philadelphia’s Education weekly. You can read the article Relax, Heal, Learn by Dale Mezzacappa @dalemezz in its original with comments and more on The Notebook’s coverage of Behavioral and Mental Health initiatives in the schools here. Images by Darryl Murphy of The Notebook. I encourage you to make your comments …

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ISF at the Haverford Middle School Diversity Conference

This year’s Haverford Middle School Diversity Conference focused on the theme “Brave or Blind.” Over four hundred students came together from four states – Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, and Delaware to meet each other and practice dialogue across difference. In sessions that role-played common scenarios between friends that created racial tension, students were asked to model alternative ways to …

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Teenage Brain: Risks, Peer Pressure & Our Modern World

Being in high school is challenging. I remember the awkwardness and the bigness of the world to my smallness. And in my smallness trying to be big and sometimes getting away with it. Being one of two thousand students in my city high school didn’t help. I wondered if any of the teachers knew my name and I remember going …

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What Do We Say to Our Children?

Many of the images we’re shown these days are of fractures between peoples. The unexpected but unambiguous results of the US election is confronting many of us with the challenge of seeing our own silos, our own lack of interest to hear the pain points and the dreams of others who are different from ourselves. It is a time for …

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Insights from Inmates

Everyone can present themselves well in the right circumstances. The question is, when the human being is at rest, what is our essential nature? And how much does our conviction about our potential and inherent nature depend on those who touched us early on in life? I teach a mindfulness class in a prison just south of town. It’s not …

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Racial Stress & Mindful Spaces

It’s Fall. Back to school. Reconnecting with my teacher friends who have been out on summer break. Most of them hold summer jobs, in part for the extra cash to make ends meet, and in part because teachers just like to engage. They’re “people” people. I was having brunch with one of my best teacher friends. A delightful person, someone …