Mindful Littles is the only organization combining mindfulness, play and movement with hands-on community service to deliver a powerful dose of feel-good, do-good connectedness. Our proprietary method integrates evidence-based, science-backed practices in a fun, engaging, and relatable way. Participants come away with a sense of purpose, contribution, and feeling connected to their peers and their community—and wanting to come back and do more.
The Cycle of Compassionate Action
Mindfulness, Movement & Fun
Purpose, Volunteerism & Service
Mindful Service Learning participants feel good by mindfully connecting to themselves and to each other, while doing good to support a community in need. This Cycle of Compassionate Action has powerful mental health benefits by creating a sense of connectedness to oneself, to peers, and to the wider community.
Our experiential compassion programs strengthen youth connectedness and mental/social well-being.
Integrates mindfulness habits that create self-awareness, connection with self and others
Unifies young people through a shared purpose and creates a sense of belonging
Fosters curiosity and social consciousness about the wider community
The Science Behind our Approach
As we witness alarming increases in youth mental health issues, researchers are directing more and more efforts to help solve this crisis. Mindful Littles is committed to staying on top of the latest discoveries. We continually assess the research, looking for ways to have the greatest impact possible. We also continually assess our own performance by measuring the outcomes of our programs.
Here are a few of the science-backed findings that have informed our programs and their effectiveness.
CDC names school connectedness as one of the most protective factors in youth well-being.
The CDC recently published the findings of studies on school connectedness, defined as students’ belief that peers and adults support, value, and care about their individual well-being as well as their academic progress. It is an important protective factor that promotes the health and well-being of students. Students who feel more connected to school are:
- Less likely to engage in risky behaviors
- More likely to engage in positive health behaviors
- More likely to have higher grades and test scores, have better school attendance, and graduate high school.
- Less likely to have emotional distress and thoughts of suicide among adolescents.
*Source: Centers for Disease Control
Positive relational experiences help offset Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs).
One recent research study found that “positive relational experiences” (such as caring, warm, and nurturing relationships with friends and a sense of belonging in school) had a significant impact on students dealing with Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs).*
Mindful Littles’ programs create positive relational experiences in many ways. Students strengthen peer connections by working in buddy pairs or groups to serve a common cause—fostering camaraderie and trust amongst one another. Students also build and develop trust in adults and community organizations, which helps them see how they fit in and reduces feelings of isolation.
*Source: Centers for Disease Control
Mindfulness and compassion habits have a mitigating effect on trauma.
Research shows that mindfulness and compassion habits have a mitigating effect on trauma and adverse childhood experiences.*
Our unique approach to teaching mindful self-compassion practices in fun and playful ways helps students access practical breathing techniques, express emotions, and practice positive mindset skills even in the midst of chaos and instability. These key skills can help students overcome trauma, anxiety and depression.
Volunteerism has strong health and wellness benefits.
The act of volunteerism—doing good for others—has strong benefits not just for the beneficiaries of the service, but also for the health and wellness of the person doing the service. One recent study shows that generosity has a direct positive impact on the nervous system and that children experience a “physical sense of soothing after they give”.*
By consistently emphasizing generosity and giving, Mindful Littles’ programs help students to consistently experience the deep healing benefits of service.
*Source: Greater Good Science Center
Frequently Asked Questions
The CDC defines connectedness as “the degree to which an individual or group is socially close, interrelated, or shares resources with other individuals or groups.” Connectedness occurs between individuals and within families, schools, workplaces, communities, and society as a whole.
Yes! There’s an expanding body of research that shows we are all born with the potential for compassion, but growing up in an increasingly isolating and distracting world, our compassion muscle weakens. Strengthening compassion requires cultivation and practice. Over time and with intentional practice, acting with compassion can become a seamless part of our everyday lives.