What is the MindUP™ Program?

MindUP™ is a curriculum and Framework for Success, brought to life in a Mindful Classroom.

MindUP™ is grounded in the pillars of Neuroscience, Positive Psychology, Mindful Behavior and Social, Emotional Learning. This unique integration of four competencies means that MindUP™ helps children overall build personal resilience — a quality that is key to thriving in today’s world.

At its heart, MindUP™ consists of 15 lessons that are tailored to a child’s age group and development level. Brought to life by a teacher in the classroom, each lesson offers students new mindful strategies that can increase self-control, focus, empathy and optimism. MindUP™ even benefits teachers, restoring order to the classroom, reducing their stress, giving them more time to teach and even improving the quality and quantity of their sleep.

MindUP™ offers an immersive experience and daily practice that shifts a child’s perspective and drives positive behavior, improved learning and scholastic performance. The objective of MindUP it to fully integrate its lessons into the fabric of a safe and optimistic school culture.

And the best news is that MindUP™ really works!

MindUP™ schools have documented lower levels of absenteeism, class disruptions and bullying with increases in positive behaviors including optimism, the ability to work well with others, increased empathy and emotional intelligence, as well as improved planning and organizational skills.

See How MindUP Works.

How is MindUP™ Implemented?

For schools and districts, implementation has six steps.



  1. First, we conduct an initial assessment to identify any challenges specific to the school. The results of this assessment help us tailor the launch for better engagement, buy-in and success. The launch is usually a live and in-person training with teaching staff and administration – usually scheduled on a Professional Development Day. Additionally at the time of launch, we introduce the program to parents in a introductory parent workshop.
  2. Second, we hold one or two check-ins by phone or in person with the school to encourage continued engagement via our webinars and digital portal.
  3. Third, at the 6-7 months mark, we conduct a second assessment along with live and in person, coaching and mentoring, as needed.
  4. Fourth, we facilitate continued engagement with the digital portal and exploration of lesson applications throughout the remainder of the school year.
  5. Fifth, at the end of the school year we conduct a third and final assessment to benchmark school progress against key objectives.
  6. Sixth, we engage the school administration in a development and engagement plan for sustainable management of the program.

I’m a Principal, how do I bring MindUP™ to my school?

First of all, we’d like to congratulate you for considering bringing MindUP™ to your school. Visionary Principals that truly want to create a healthy and positive learning culture for their students, faculty and staff are among our biggest heroes. Be sure to check out the MindUP™ for Schools section of this site, dedicated to Administrators.

A committed Principal is one of our leading indicators of success. Once the program is implemented you can look forward to reduced referrals, lower absenteeism, less bullying, lower teacher turnover and higher teacher satisfaction. We are CASEL approved and align very nicely to Common Core. IB among other curriculae.

We encourage you to download the MindUP™ Guide for Principals

The guide will walk you through the steps of how to bring MindUp™ to your school and explain about the costs of training and materials, complete with forms and a School Assessment to get started.

Our School already has an SEL program, why add MindUP™ as well?

CASEL sets out several pillars for inclusion in SEL programs. It’s a tall order for any one program to cover everything, so many schools choose to combine SEL programs. For example, some schools using MindUP will spend a school year introducing the MindUP curriculum and embed the skills and strategies into teaching and learning from that moment onwards. Sometimes they may pursue a different SEL program with other components the following year, then return to MindUP for the third year. This is fine as long as the skills that are learned in each lesson are practiced consistently so the children do not forget them or their purpose.

I’m a teacher, how do I bring MindUP™ to my school?

If you want to bring MindUP to your school,we encourage you to visit MindUP™ for Teachers the portion of our site dedicated to how MindUP™ addresses teacher concerns. Additionally, you can download the MindUP™ Guide for Teachers, to see some of the strategies we suggest.

I’m a teacher, how do I get trained in the MindUP™ program?

As a teacher you have three options.

  1. You can bring MindUP™ to your school. Go to the MindUP™ for Teachers or your can download the information here.
  2. If getting your whole school on board isn’t an option, you can attend a MindUP™ Regional Training. See our events calendar at the bottom of the Support MindUP™ page.
  3. If you aren’t in an area where you can get trained personally, effective November, 2016 you can buy a subscription to our MindUP™ Digital Portal and find videos, webinars and other support and resource documents 24/7. An annual subscription to the portal is free with the purchase of a regional training spot, and $50/year otherwise.

I’m a Parent, how do I bring MindUP™ to my child’s school?

Being a parent is hard work these days.

If you would like to bring MindUP™ to your school, go to the MindUP™ at Home part of the site and download the guide.

The guide will provide step by step instructions on how to rally other parents and how to engage your child’s teacher — provide a sample letter to the principal or the superintendent. We provide all the resources you will need to communicate with The Hawn Foundation to get you started. As a parent, we also encourage you to visit our section of the site for MindUP™ at Home  and explore our MindUP™  tips and tricks for better managing on those hard days.

If bringing MindUP™ to your whole school isn’t an option, effective November, 2016 you will be able to subscribe to MindUP™ Family on our MindUP™ Digital Portal – a virtual version of our training with tips and tricks geared specifically towards today’s busy family.

Where can I find all of the research on MindUP™?

The best place to start is to read the summary chapter that was just published by members of our Research Advisory Board, Kim Schonert Reichl and Rob Roeser, which can be downloaded here.

You can also go to the Library on this site and select Research and White Papers.

How is MindUP™ Priced?

MindUP™ has a variety of pricing strategies:

For Administrators with District or whole school implementations:

  • A customized plan is developed for each school and costs range between $5,000-$10,000 depending on number of teachers to be trained and the application of any scholarships or grants
  • Pricing is a function of materials, plus training costs, minus fundraising or grant support
    • Materials include classroom chime, plus curriculum guides or access to the MindUP™ Digital Portal
      • Subscription to the digital portal includes curriculum guides, additional resources and a teacher community for a full year
    • Training cost is a function of the training fee, plus travel, plus venue costs if needed
      • Trainings can be delivered in 4 hour or our preferred 6 hour Professional Development (PD) day format
      • Training includes a 60 minute session dedicated to the role of administration in MindUP™ implementation
      • Training includes a 2-hour Parent Workshop
      • Training year support includes Two (2) – phone checkin calls and one (1) trainer visit
    • Schools that opt in for the sustainable model the annual fee is a function of digital portal subscriptions and additional training sessions
      • Training sessions in subsequent years are shorter and can be done by grade level (i.e., 4- 2 hour trainings in a day)

For individual teachers:

  • Individual teachers wishing to be trained in the MindUP™ program can enroll for a MindUP™ Regional Training session
    • Regional training sessions include a classroom chime and one (1) year of support on the Digital Portal
      • Additional years of access to the digital portal are available via subscription
    • For those teachers who cannot attend a training, they may access virtual training via the Digital Portal for an annual subscription rate
      • Includes a new teacher orientation once a month
      • Four webinars a year
      • Access to all files, videos and downloads

For parents:

  • Effective November, 2016, parents will be able to subscribe to MindUP™ Family on the digital portal, as a special learning track to take into consideration the challenges that families are facing. Subscriptions will allow parents to access all Family content, files, videos and downloads from the digital portal
  • Parents may enroll in a MindUP™ Regional Training and if so, will receive a year’s access to the MindUP™ Family on the portal.

For Therapists:

  • Therapists can enroll in any MindUP™ Regional Training which includes one year of access to the Digital Portal
    • Subsequent years can be added via subscription renewal
  • Effective November 2016, Therapists will be able to to subscribe to MindUP™ for Therapists, a special track on the Digital Portal dedicated to tools and frameworks that contribute to the therapeutic practice.

For Potential Partners:

  • MindUP™ offers a variety of train-the-trainer and licensing models meant to extend the reach of the program in other venues. For more information email: victoria.gonzalez@thehawnfoundation.org

How do I know MindUP™ will work?

Independent studies show that when implemented correctly and effectively, MindUP™ will help to improve self-regulation and academic achievement.  If you have received training, you can visit our MindUP™ Digital Portal,  or go to the effectiveness page on our website.  You can also browse our website to see personal testimonials and other success stories.

Why are “Brain Breaks” 3 minutes? And why 3 times a day?

Three minutes is a length of time that can accommodate the attention span of a young child. Three times a day is meant to encourage a regular practice. Cumulatively the 3×3 model provides enough time each week to physiologically rewire the brain, building strong neural pathways in the pre fontal cortex. Dr Dan Siegel reports that even 5 minutes of mindful breathing per day can begin to change the brain by strengthening the neural pathways used for focus and awareness, making it easier in the future to focus. Additionally, the 3 minute Brain Breaks fit easily into the classroom setting and can be used at key moments during the day with little effort or change to planning.

Aren’t the vocabulary and concepts about the brain too complicated for younger children?

We have witnessed children as young as three years old having a solid grasp of simple definitions and functions for the three parts of the brain that we cover. There are various, simple ways to engage and to teach the younger students about the brain.  These include brain caps, clay models, animal names, and songs. Try communicating the functions of the each part of the MindUP™ Brain using analogies, for example, the amygdala is like a barking dog – He keeps us safe form external dangers, but sometimes he barks for no real reason.

How do I keep MindUP™ going after I complete the 15 Lessons?

Start by teaching the three parts of the brain we have focused on and the core practice of the mindful breathing.  These are the foundations of the program and essential for children to learn what is happening in their brains and the extent to which they can control their thoughts, emotions and behavior.  Beyond the 15 Lessons, we invite you to see that MindUP™ is a not just a curriculum of lessons to complete, but a framework that will help you enrich existing lesson plans already on your agenda. It’s NOT another thing to do, but new way of teaching. We also suggest that you look to the MindUP™ Digital Portal for extensions activities, Mindful Living exercises and resources that have been added by our MindUP™ Curriculum, Trainers and Teachers implementing the MindUP™ program.

How do I tie MindUP™ in with other topics and academic subjects?

If you are a teacher that has been through the MindUP™ introductory training, then you have access to the MindUP™ Digital Portal – which is where you will find many of our subject alignment guides and resources. Additionally, we invite you to practice “Brain Breaks” before major tests, musical performances, or assemblies and we suggest that you use common, mindful language that can be modeled throughout the day.  Ask students to journal thoughts and feelings they are grateful for or write about happy experiences.  Remember to use the MindUP™ Digital Portal for more activities and resources on how to integrate.

I’m not sure I have time to add MindUP™ to my teaching program.

In some ways you give up a very small amount of time in order to gain time saved in other areas. Teachers who use MindUP™ tell us that the concepts practiced in MindUP™ save time spent on classroom management, transitions, and conflict resolution. MindUP™ is easily adapted to fit classroom timeframes and time invested in the “Brain Breaks” leads to returns when children find it easier to focus and concentrate in class.

Can I just pick the lessons I like and leave the rest?

That might seem easier, but no, the lessons are designed to be cumulative for a reason.  It is an evidence-based program, whose scaffolding is carefully architected from research.  The efficacy of the program relies on the best practices that have been researched using the whole MindUP™ program.  We recommend against using some lessons and not the whole curriculum.

Are there any volunteer opportunities at The Hawn Foundation?

Unfortunately the nature of the work we do does not create any volunteer opportunities. All of our trainers that train teachers in schools are certified and are paid positions.

Is MindUP™ Buddhism in disguise?

No. MindUP™ is a completely secular program based on neuroscience.  While mindful breathing is practiced in many different faiths, it does not require any particular faith to experience the neurological benefits based on scientific research.