Dominique Kohl, Upside Down Paper Crown

Date grant awarded: December 9, 2016

By Youth Development Hubcap team Member Chris McGilvery, who has chosen to support this work with a flow fund grant.

Dominique Kohl is a passionate teacher who is ready to share her Upside Down Paper Crown project with students and classrooms in Central Texas. She has been working on this project for a few years, but has not been able to receive funding to continue her work. She has implemented this project and curriculum in her own classroom and is ready to impact many more students’ lives through her work.

The mission of Upside Down Paper Crown is simple, help students realize their own power by connecting the heart, body, and mind in the learning process. Her vision would be for children to learn that understanding how they feel when they are learning is just as important as comprehending the academic subjects. Dominique implements curriculum and resources, such as yoga mats, weighted blankets, and sensory tools to have students participate in learning how to connect their emotions to learning. As you walk into her classroom, it looks different from most: students working standing up, laying on yoga mats or counters, bouncing on balls or wiggle seats, anything that helps them ground their emotions while they are learning. It is far from conventional or traditional.

Dominique explains: “I have seen how more invested the students have become when they bridge how they feel and react with what and how they learn. The beauty of watching these students begin to connect their feelings with the learning process is that as they begin to feel more empowered and confident, their self-efficacy has increased, which is all a teacher and parent can hope for”