Following his teacher’s lead, Samuel gently places his teddy bear in its cardboard bed, tucks the yellow blanket under its chin and whispers, “Good night.”
Samuel and his fellow Briya prekindergarten students were practicing bedtime routines as part of sleep education training provided by Sweet Dreamzzz, Inc., a nonprofit that educates at-risk children and their families on the importance of sleep in order to improve children’s health, well-being and academic performance.
The training began with a workshop for Briya adult students in which they learned a variety of sleep-related information, including recommended hours of sleep for different age groups, benefits of sleep (which include improved school performance) and how to create a bedtime routine for their children.
In a separate session, the organization trained Briya teachers in leading these parent workshops, equipping them to teach sleep education to future students.
After the parent workshop, Briya pre-kindergarteners spent two weeks learning about sleep in their classrooms. Teachers used materials provided by Sweet Dreamzzz to teach good sleep habits and the parts of a bedtime routine, such as eating a healthy snack and doing a relaxing activity like reading.
Each pre-k student received their own teddy bear, along with a cardboard box bed and a blanket for the bear. Students named their bear and decorated its bed and blanket.
Children then used their bears to practice the sleep skills they were learning in class. They read stories to their bears and put the bears to bed, covering them with the blanket. They also brought their bears to sleep with them during nap time every day.
On final day of the two-week period, pre-k students took their teddy bears home, well prepared for good sleep and school success!