SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — A local nonprofit has been awarded some extra cash to expand a program that helps kids manage their feelings.

Bank of America recently awarded a $5,000 grant to Loop It Up Savannah to help fund the organization’s Mindfulness Zone program, which is currently implemented in eight public schools as well as several early learning centers across Savannah.

“We are grateful to receive this support of our Mindfulness Zone program from Bank of America,” said Loop It Up Savannah Executive Director Molly Lieberman. “This program reaches hundreds of students, teachers and families throughout Chatham County and helps to develop concrete skills for navigating life’s challenges through our standards and project-based, arts-integrated curriculum. Community support is critical in helping us continue to develop and sustain this important program for our children.”

The Mindfulness Zone program began in 2019 with a focus on elementary school students. Each year since, the program has grown to include more partner schools. This year, the program is expanding to include early learners at applicable schools and early learning centers, as well as middle and high school students.

“Literacy is central in all of our programs; therefore, the Mindfulness Zone curriculum is built on beloved children’s books,” Lieberman said. “Each unit is based on a different book and includes activities that are thematically related to the story, while giving students opportunities to develop skills for understanding their feelings and reactions, as well as executive function skills.”

Loop It Up’s Mindfulness Zone includes activities built on trauma-informed yoga, expressive arts and ELA comprehension. The long-term goal of the program is to build a foundation of skills essential to emotional resiliency for early learning, elementary and middle school students.

“The grant to Loop It Up builds upon our efforts to strengthen broader community vitality,” said Patrick O’Neil, president of Bank of America Savannah. “Continuing to develop strong partnerships is a key to driving economic mobility and social progress in Savannah.”