Employees with Ramsey, New Jersey-based Konica Minolta Business Solutions U.S.A. recently spent a day at Dewitt Reformed Church Head Start School in New York City helping Books for Kids build its first “Zen Den.” The team of volunteers cleared space, cleaned and decorated the designated relaxation space, as well as other areas at the school.
The Zen Den is a space for students and faculty to relax and refocus. The inspiration came to a faculty member at Head Start when she attended a trauma training program and learned how Zen spaces can help improve the overall health of a school.
With each classroom having its own small Zen area already, the Zen Den tied in perfectly with wellness and literacy initiatives already in place at the school. The area will be a peaceful space equipped with yoga mats, books, greenery and more to help individuals decompress.
“Konica Minolta believes in supporting literacy education to help shape our next generation of innovators,” says Allison Kern, senior customer service representative and internal engagement specialist for Konica Minolta. “We are proud to have worked with Books for Kids to help build a peaceful area where both students and teachers can go to relax and read, enhancing their overall academic experience.”
Konica Minolta hosted a drive at its corporate office to gather supplies for the Zen Den and raise awareness for the event. The team collected several pillows and more than two dozen yoga mats to help decorate the Zen Den space. In addition to volunteer efforts, Konica Minolta donated cleaning supplies and contributed $5,000 towards Books for Kids programming.
“We’re so grateful to Konica Minolta for supporting the library and Zen Den at Dewitt Reformed School,” says Robin Adelson, executive director, the Books for Kids Foundation. “Our libraries ensure children have books and resources to help them develop the strong foundation they need to be successful in school and life."
Konica Minolta Business Solutions says it is committed to supporting local efforts that promote literacy, wellness and academic success among children, particularly those at risk to significant learning barriers due to low income. Dewitt Reformed School serves many such children.