Programs: K-8

The following are some of the most established programs for K-8 students, as well as those that are local to Ontario. To find out about High School programs, see our High School Programs page. For programs for educators, see our Training for Educators page. For post-secondary programs, see our Post-Secondary Programs page. For programs not listed on the DM website, check out the Garrison Institute Contemplative Education Program Database.

If you know of other K-8 programs currently being offered in Ontario, please contact us.


Program name:  MindUP

Description:  MindUP™ is a research-based training program for educators and children. This program is composed of 15 lessons based in neuroscience. Students learn to self-regulate behavior and mindfully engage in focused concentration required for academic success. MindUP™ lessons align with all state standards including Common Core and support improved academic performance while enhancing perspective taking, empathy and kindness as well as fostering complex problem solving skills. There are curriculum guides for K-2, 3-5, and 6-8.

Current Usage:  Bracebridge Public School and other schools in the Trillium Lakelands District School Board. It is also widely used in British Columbia, where over 3,500 teachers have been trained.

Research:  The MindUP program is one of the most thoroughly researched programs available. The latest study awaits publishing and is titled “Enhancing Cognitive and Social-Emotional Development Through a Simple-to-Administer School Program.” An earlier study was “The Effects of a Mindfulness- Based Education Program on Pre- and Early Adolescents’ Well-Being and Social and Emotional Competence” Mindfulness [2010].

Training:  contact The Hawn Foundation. The curriculum guides can be ordered through Scholastic.


Garrison Institute listing:  click here

The Mindfulness in Schools Project (.b)

.b includes the “Paws .b” (ages 7-11) and “Teen .b” (ages 11-18) programs. See listing in Programs: High School


Program Name:  Inner Kids

Description:  InnerKids was developed by Susan Kaiser Greenland in 2000. There are programs for 5 age ranges: Pre K, K-2, 3-6, 6-8, and 9-12. Pre K-3 meet twice a week for ½ hour sessions for 8 weeks. Grades 4-12 meet once a week for 45 minute sessions for 10-12 weeks. Pre K-3 meet twice a week for ½ hour sessions for 8 weeks. Grades 4-12 meet once a week for 45 minute sessions for 10-12 weeks. Program elements include: Mindfulness, MBSR, Contemplative Movement/Dance, Guided Visualization and Breath Work.

The InnerKids begins with activities that develop breath awareness, moves to activities that develop sensory awareness, and then to activities that develop awareness of thoughts, emotions and worldview. Games and activities heighten awareness of other people’s bodies (and where our bodies are in space in relation to other people and things) and other people’s thoughts/emotions, and other people’s world-views. In all classes activities are included that promote kindness to self and others as well as patience, generosity, and gratitude. The program is informed by an always present theme of community service and compassionate action.

InnerKids teaches age-appropriate, secular activities that develop the ABCs of Attention, Balance, and Compassion for youth ages pre-kindergarten through young adult. Inner Kids strengthens and supports how educators communicate and teach with activities that develop greater mind-body awareness, compassionate life skills and help manage stress.

Current Usage:  InnerKids is used in Los Angeles and Singapore, and estimates the program has been taught to over 40,000 students, 15,000 teachers and 15,000 parents.

Research: Effects of mindful awareness practices on executive functions in elementary school children.” Randomized controlled study found in Journal of Applied School Psychology 26: 1, 70-95.

Training:   By workshop, class, or coaching (in person or by phone)


Garrison Institute listing:  click here

Center for Mindful Learning – Modern Mindfulness

Program Name:  Modern Mindfulness for Schools

Description:  This program is delivered by an interactive online computer program that guides both teachers and students. There are two programs, one for K-5 and one for 6-12. It is broken down into 5-minute lessons, and works as follows:

(1) The teacher watches a training video, reads online materials, and passes a quiz to confirm their understanding;

(2) Teacher introduces a short video to students using a smartboard or computer;

(3) Teacher and students practice the mindfulness exercise the next day using a smartboard or computer;

(4) The above steps are repeated for each chapter, at the teacher’s desired pace. There are 10 chapters. After their completion, teachers should be able to teach mindfulness on their own without the program.

Modern Mindfulness for Schools provides a trial to check out the first lesson for free.  You must create a username first.  If you like it, please contact or for further information.

Current Usage:  The program is currently in use in several schools in or near Burlington Vermont.

Research:  A small pilot study was done in 2012 at Smilie Memorial School in Vermont. Some findings are presented here.

Training:   The program includes a training video, manual and quizzes. No advance training is required.

Cost: $149 – free trial version is available


Garrison Institute listing:  click here

More information: or

Mindful Schools

Program Name:  Mindful Schools

Description:  There are 2 Mindful Schools curricula, one for K-5 and one for 6-12. The program is taught by those who have undergone considerable training. It is taught to teachers and students together, with additional sessions for just teachers.

The program is designed to improve focus/concentration, impulse control, self awareness, emotional regulation, physical regulation, relationships & empathy, and reduce anxiety, stress and emotional overwhelm. Students learn mindfulness in 5-15 minute increments. Each lesson provides a specific application of mindfulness including: breathing, listening, body awareness, seeing, moving, eating, thinking, emotions, etc. 15-minute lessons include a few minutes of formal directed attention, time for discussion about how and when to apply mindfulness, and time for a challenge or game related to that days lessons.

Current Usage:  The program is one of the most used in the world, with over 5,000 people trained in it in 60 countries. It has been taught to over 200,000 children since 2007.

Training:   Training for educators, health professionals, and other youth service providers is designed to provide them with a personal practice of mindfulness, and then prepare them to integrate it into their work with students/children. Courses are available in person and online.


Garrison Institute listing:  click here

A Still Quiet Place

Program Name:  A Still Quiet Place – A Mindfulness Program for Teaching Children and Adolescents to Ease Stress and Difficult Emotions

Description:  This is a book, written by Dr. Amy Saltzman, that sets out an 8-week mindfulness program targeted to children in grades 3 – 7, with adaptations for older and younger children. Dr. Saltzman borrows heavily and adapts from John Kabat-Zinn’s foundational elements of the standard adult Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) course

Current Usage:  widely used in the United States

Training:  A 10-week online practicum for K-12 educators and allied professionals is available. This practicum is designed to support them in developing their natural capacities for focused attention, engaged learning, emotional fluency, respectful communication, and compassionate action. Together we will explore, in detail, the research-based Still Quiet Place curriculum. Click here for dates and more info.


Garrison Institute listing:  click here