The S.A.M.M. Educational Program (Science-Art-Music-Mindfulness)
“Education is a once in a lifetime opportunity to open children’s hearts and minds to the unbelievable wonder of the Universe.” -Sir Anthony Seldon
The S.A.M.M. Educational Program, developed by Harvard graduate Elisa Jacobs, implements evidence based therapeutic modalities from ancient and modern cultures, that enhance neuro cognitive functioning in the developing brain of a child. Using Science, Art, Music and Mindfulness we create fun, engaging, educational experiences for children in underserved populations who have, or are currently undergoing trauma.
Each program is specifically designed for the population/region we are working with. We do our best to source sustainable supplies from the local region, which leaves a smaller carbon footprint and makes it easier for the program to be easily maintained and replicated by the workers/volunteers in the area.
Our research has shown that the four areas below provide lasting therapeutic value.
SCIENCE: Science help a child utilize all five senses, develops critical thinking and executive functioning skills and is plain fun! Using where our food comes from as a foundation, we do projects ranging from planting organic food gardens that can feed the local community for free and serve as a means of economic stability, to bringing in locally grown food and teaching healthy eating and food prepartion classes. Children learn first hand the importance of growing and eating healthy food and how it affects them and their environment. Science opens a door of wonder for young children that will last them a lifetime.
ART: Our art projects are generally linked to what we are doing in science. If we are planting a garden, handpainting rocks that identify what we are growing may be one of our projects. Making jewelry from banana leaves or ti plants if we are somewhere tropical may be another. For our winter projects in Boston, we have done “Mindfulness” painting, where we envision a brighter future for our lives and the world. As much as possible, we strive to use repurposed materials that encourage the protection of our environment.
MUSIC: Varieties of music are used that have been proven to elevate and stimulate neurocognitive functioning. While doing an art project, Vivaldi may be playing in the background. Sometimes we will source items that can be turned into bamboo flutes, or rainsticks. Other times we will practice intercultural dancing to get those little bodies moving and grooving. Music has been proven to inspire creativity, build confidence and often times allow a shy, timid and traumatized child to express themselves.
MINDFULNESS: For many of these precious children who have experienced some form of trauma, mindfulness can be used to help them with stress reduction. By teaching the children breathing and movement exercises, we shift the anxiety ridden brain, specifically the pre-frontal cortex, to a more positive state of well being.
The children participate in games and team activities that develop social skills, comaraderie, and a sense of belonging or community. Mindfulness is also a great confidence builder. Once a child learns confidence, the world becomes a better and brighter place for them to be who they were created to be.
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