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Hands Together


The HuddlUp Classroom Model is creating a culture of mental wellness in Central Minnesota classrooms by unleashing the power of play to transform lives.

Developed by a group of Central Minnesota teachers with 50+ years of experience in the classroom, the HuddlUp Classroom Model increases access to preventative mental health supports for students in grades K-5.

Research has shown that access to meaningful play activities can improve children’s cognitive, physical, and social-emotional wellbeing. Play is how children learn about themselves and the world around them, and how they form important social connections with peers and adults.

Sadly, there is a shortage of play in the world today, and this has dire consequences. Because at a time when children face unprecedented amounts of stress (due to a number of factors), they lack the skills and support necessary to manage and regulate their emotions and to respond effectively to adversity.

Nowhere is this more apparent than in the classroom, where we’ve seen a dramatic increase in the number of students who report long-term mental health problems, such as depression and anxiety.

The HuddlUp Classroom Model is answering the call to help address the youth mental health crisis in Central Minnesota.

Launched in fall 2022, the program was piloted in a handful of classrooms. By the end of the school year, it was offered in over 80 classrooms, with an ever-growing waiting list of teachers and schools who recognize the transformative impact of the program.


What sets the HuddlUp Classroom Model apart from other student mental health programs is the fact that we place HuddlUp Coaches in each classroom to work directly with students and to mentor teachers and school administrators.

Our Huddlup Coaches lead classrooms in social play activities that are physical in nature and promote teamwork and relationship building. The focus of these activities is to help students sense and feel one another, and to become more engaged in the classroom. When students feel connected to their peers and to adults, they are more likely to develop the skills needed to deal with adversity and setbacks (and more likely to succeed academically).

An important element of the HuddlUp Classroom Model, in addition to its emphasis on social play, is the integration of student self-awareness and breathwork exercises. Our HuddlUp Coaches lead classrooms in breathing techniques that are proven to help children regulate their emotions and respond to the stress in their bodies. 

HuddlUp is changing how we think about--and promote--mental health and wellness. 

How to bring HuddlUp to your classroom or community.

Completing the form below is the first step in bringing the HuddlUp program and/or professional development opportunities to your classroom. 

Thank you for your interest!

I've recently presented and delivered workshops with audiences at these events and locations. Let's connect to see how I can serve you. 

Pediatrics Congress | New York, NY

MACMH Child & Adolescent Health | Duluth, MN

World Psychiatry Conference | New York, NY

Global Psychology Conference | San Francisco, CA

Integrated Medical Community | Los Angeles, CA

National Medical Academy | Dallas, TX

MAAP Conference | Duluth, MN

United Way Central Minnesota | St. Cloud, MN

National Future Educator Convention | Minneapolis, MN

Minnesota State Principal Institute | Minneapolis, MN

Minnesota Association Alternative Programs | Duluth, MN

Collaborative Learning Project | Boston, MA

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"What you have added to my life cannot be measured as the posive effects continue to grow and grow. It's a privilege to simply extend a thanks to you."

- Daniel Z.

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