The Mindful Breathing Program was created in 2021 to bring wellness and connection to our students and staff in Forsyth County School District. This program was created from the pilot that Ashley Baer led in collaboration and partnership with Georgia State University’s School of Public Health. The pilot was conducted in the 2019-20, and the 2020-21 school years at Forsyth Central High School, Denmark High, Lakeside Middle, and Coal Mountain Elementary. This two-year pilot was designed to measure the effectiveness and impact of daily mindful movement and breathing with students and staff. Practicing movement and breathing has been shown to benefit people of all ages increasing their focus, attention, and executive functioning skills while decreasing stress, and anxiety, and regulating the nervous system.
The pilot and the Mindful Breathing program were created and implemented by Ashley Baer, an educator and wellness coach currently in the role of Facilitator of Mindfulness Instruction. She teaches students to use breathing and movement for focus, learning, and behavioral regulation. In addition, Ashley provides staff with training and professional development on the impact of breathing on stress and health. She provides free wellness classes to all Forsyth County employees to reduce stress and increase their well-being.