Grand Ideas

Grand Ideas from Within Classroom Edition is a research based mindfulness program that allows students  to experience and reflect on their thoughts, emotions, and ideas during a daily prerecorded guided imagery lesson. The 5-7 minute lessons, which have been shown to enhance communication and writing skills, meet Common Core Curriculum Standards for English/Language Arts and literacy in History/Social Studies. This program has been used successfully in today’s multi-ethnic classrooms and diverse socio-economic populations. Its success has been independent of group size or environment, working equally well in large classrooms and in small pullout groups. Grand Ideas from Within is recognized as a positive behavior program and a prevention/intervention program, thus fitting nicely in the academic programs of today’s time sensitive classroom. Additionally, Grand Ideas from Within is a mindfulness program that is both effective to use and affordable with today’s tight education budgets. With one-day teacher training and school-wide program participation, student behavior and school atmosphere noticeably improve.
The eighteen weeks of mindfulness and guided imagery lessons in Grand Ideas from Withincreate opportunities for students to actually experience, through deep mindful listening, how changing what they think changes their emotions, and in turn changes how they may react to any given situation.


The basic mental health concepts of Grand Ideas from Within embedded in the guided imagery, makes Grand Ideas from Within an efficient, unique and creative tool for school use that strengthens student’s self-control, empathy, motivation, and problem-solving skills while reducing school suspensions and increasing academic performance.




“I am getting feedback from teachers other than the participating Language Arts teachers. The Earth Science teacher noticed that when assigned to write in class, the students who were participating in Grand Ideas from WIthin got started immediately without hesitating. (A big change for her.) Other surprises have occurred with reluctant students suddenly bursting into eloquence, with surprising details of sensory imagery, and details of place and people beyond the prompts.”

Wade Heaton, High Stakes Testing Tutor, Clinton Middle School, Clinton, La.

“This week, we have been ‘Learning to Breathe’ and the students are really enjoying it. It’s a little hard to get them to talk about their experiences out loud because I think a lot of them are still a little self-conscious and don’t really want to talk in front of their friends. As you might expect, a few of the boys just kind of sit there because they’re still not sure about this whole thing! Well, this morning I decided to get them to write about their experiences. I’ve only read comments from 2 classes so far, but I am EXCITED!!! Wow!!! I am amazed, and I can’t wait to see what the students in my other 3 classes will have to say!”

Ms. Landry, Language Arts, Plaquemine High School, Plaquemine, La.

Here are some of the things Ms. Landry’s students said:

‘The things that I’ve learned with the whole learning to breathe experience are that breathing is not just essential to living but breathing actually helps me relax and calm down.”

‘The muscle one is relaxing and it makes more sense to me than the breathing part. But they both help me out with my problems. After it goes off, my muscles feel good and I feel good about myself. I like that we had to do this, and I can’t see why we didn’t start this last year.’

‘This week’s focus on learning to breathe was awesome. I really love the way it makes me feel. I’m usually (in my mind) in a serene/peaceful setting. It feels so good as if I’m drifting away. Today, I actually got goose bumps I was so relaxed. I can’t wait to see what next week has in store for me.’

Grand Ideas from Within has helped me a lot. When I am at home stressing with my mother and my boyfriend, all I do is picture her soothing voice and I relax my muscles and clear my mind on a lot of things. This experience helps me relieve a lot of stress, and it also keeps me calm when I know I am about to get angry”

Grand Ideas from Within — The Research

Evaluation Report 2009 Executive Summary
Compiled by: Dr. Ariel Ngnitedem
Southern University Baton Rouge, Louisiana

This report is the most recent in a series of evaluations of the Grand Ideas from Within™ (GIFW) program.
For the 2008-9 year’s study:

  1. A before-and-after quasi-experimental design with a single group was used.
  2. A sample of 7th, 8th, and 9th grade students attending Plaquemine High School and five of their teachers were surveyed (before and after the implementation of the GIFW program) regarding student behavior, attitude, and drug use.
  3. Data on attendance, discipline, GPAs, and failing grades of the 312 students attending Plaquemine High was collected before and after the implementation of the GIFW program, as well. Simple statistics (percentages, means, etc) were primarily used to describe the pre and post datasets, and the t-test was used to compare the mean scores of the pre-tests and post tests.


The individual findings of this study include:

  1. Grade point averages significantly improved after the GIFW program.
  2. Failures in the classroom significantly decreased after the GIFW program.
  3. Attendance significantly improved (absences significantly decreased) after the GIFW program.
  4. Students likelihood of getting angry and losing their temper significantly decreased after the GIFW program.
  5. The students’ likelihood of getting easily distracted or finding it difficult to concentrate significantly decreased after the GIFW program.
  6. The time period during which students experienced difficulties in the areas of emotions, concentration, behavior or the ability to get along with other people significantly decreased after the GIFW program.
  7. The number of students who acknowledged, that someone had taught them how to meditate, relax, or reduce stress, significantly increased after the GIFW program.
  8. The students’ likelihood of disapproving their fellow students using marijuana significantly increased after the GIFW program.

The major recommendation is to continue to implement this program to the same schools and to extend it to other schools in the state of Louisiana and eventually to other schools in the nation.

Click here for the full report.

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