About Mary Lea

_DSC1856ed_loMary Lea Crawley is the founder of Mindful Kids and a Mindful Schools Certified Instructor. She began leading meditation circles for children and adults in 2009. A long-time educator, she has a background in college teaching and Social and Emotional Learning (SEL). Mary Lea earned an M. A. in Writing from the University of San Francisco and is a licensed English teacher in the state of New Jersey.

In addition to her Mindful Schools certification, Mary Lea received training in Still Quiet Place (with Amy Saltzman), Mindfulness for Teachers (with Patricia Jennings) and the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program created by Jon Kabat-Zinn.

Mary Lea’s study of mindfulness and meditation began over 20 years ago. She describes her practice as life-changing and essential to her journey as a parent and teacher.

“Mindfulness helps us question negative thinking, calm large feelings and experience more joy.  It strengthens our habit of pausing and checking in, before making decisions.”

Mary Lea teaches mindfulness to students, teachers and administrators, in public and private schools, in Northern New Jersey. Her programs for families and professionals are held at the Madison Community House in downtown Madison, New Jersey.


SONY DSCBackground in Education

Mary Lea began her career in education as an Adjunct Professor of Computer Science at the University of San Francisco.  After completing a Master of Arts in Writing, she went on to teach courses in English, in colleges in the Bay Area and New Jersey.

Mary Lea’s love of silence and children propelled her to leave college teaching in order to craft meditation and Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) programs for a mid-size Episcopal church, in Madison, New Jersey.  There, she expanded education offerings, tripled family enrollment and brought meditation, art journaling, drama and community service to kids and teens. Her weekly meditation circles prompted her to return to school and get her certification in mindfulness education.

Mindfulness Programs — Students, Teachers & Parents

Using the Mindful Schools curricula as a launching pad, Mary Lea crafted her own curriculum for in-school classes for students and teachers.  Her programs garner great enthusiasm in public and private communities, at the elementary, middle-and high-school levels.  For teachers and counselors, she provides Professional Development courses and staff presentations.

Mary Lea’s Mindful Parenting courses and speaking events help parents in schools and community centers learn how mindfulness can strengthen their children’s developing brains and reduce household stress and discipline challenges.

Mindful Kids’ one-hour classes in beginning mindfulness and practice clubs (for students with experience in mindfulness) are held quarterly at the Madison Community House in downtown Madison, New Jersey.  Contact Mary Lea at marylea@mindfulkidsnj.com for more information about these classes.

What Teachers are Saying

“We were amazed at how the children incorporated their lessons into daily interactions. The ‘life skills’ they learned were showing up in many wonderful moments . . . We wish everyone could learn the tools that Mary Lea taught us, because they are invaluable and will be useful tools for a lifetime.”

Terry Armstrong, Director of Madison Montessori School

“I had a parent of a boy, who struggles with anger and impulse regulation, email me a photo of his child practicing mindfulness on a 15-minute break during hockey practice.”

Third-Grade Teacher, Chatham Day School

“Mary Lea is kind and compassionate and completely personifies

Margaret Duffy, Fifth Grade Teacher,  Central Avenue School

The techniques you taught the children have truly made an impact on them (in and out of the classroom) as well as helping me!   You rock!  Thanks!

Jen Raneri, Third Grade Teacher, Kings Road School


_DSC3531What Students are Saying (with the Spelling They Used)

“I had a test in math. So I did my mindful breathing so I could concentrate.  It calmed me down.”

Fifth Grade Student at Central Avenue School

“One day someone called me something that i didn’t like and I wanted to punch him but then i used my mindfullness to calm me down.”

Fifth Grade Student at Torey J. Sabatini School

“I focus better in school by not staring out the window that I face.  Then I can consintrait.”

Third Grade Student at The Pingry School

“I used mindfulness in school when I got a grade on a test that I could have got a better grade and I was sad.  I used mindful breathing for this.”

Sixth Grade Student at Madison Junior School

“It makes me feel calm and relackzt and it makes me in a better adatud.”

Kindergarten Student at Central Avenue School

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