HOWELL – The Howell Municipal Alliance has partnered with the Howell Police Athletic League to launch the “I AM…” creative writing and mindfulness workshop that is open to all third- through ninth-graders.
The program is offered on the third Tuesday of each month from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at the Howell PAL building, 115 Kent Road, Howell (the former Southard School).
Alliance coordinator Christa Riddle said, “We wanted to encourage youths to write for enjoyment and self-fulfillment, without the restrictions and pressures of a structured school assignment.
“We incorporated mindfulness to teach youths simple strategies to clear their minds and de-stress in a comfortable and accepting setting. All types of writing are welcome, from poetry and journal keeping to song lyrics and short stories, and the writers can choose to share their work or keep it to themselves,” she said.
Mindfulness is a non-religious, centering and calming practice of “in-the-moment” awareness where thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations and surroundings are accepted “as is,” without judgment, while focusing on the breath.
Each session starts with 15 minutes of mindfulness to clear the head, followed by an hour of free writing, and a final 15 minutes of mindfulness to leave on a relaxed note.
During the free writing portion of the session, the participants may select any genre of writing that interests them, and there will be opportunities to converse about and share writing for those who would like to do so, according to a press release.
To register, visit www.howellpal.org and select the “I AM…” creative writing and mindfulness workshop. Each session is $15 and youths may register for one session at a time or for all available sessions.
The workshop is facilitated by Riddle, who holds a master’s of arts in teaching and mindfulness certification, and by Stefanie Mastbeth Trento of Beautiful Mind Counseling Center, who is a licensed professional counselor with mindfulness certification.
For more information about the creative writing and mindfulness workshop, contact Christa Riddle at 732-938-4500, ext. 4012. Questions regarding registration may be directed to the Howell PAL at 732-919-2825.