Lottery Open for Next Sessions of Youth Programs

Hi Common Ground Families,


Registration for the lottery is open from now until March 23 for the children (K-3) and preteen (4-7) programs at Common Ground. To enter the lottery, send an email to or There is more detailed info below about each program.

Children (K-3)

Dear Families,

We’re writing to let you know that it’s time to enter the lottery for the next session of the Children’s Program at Common Ground.   The lottery opens today, March 13 and closes March 23.  We will notify you if your child(ren) has a spot in the class some time the week of the April 4.


Session Details

Each enrollment session will include instruction and practice opportunities around mindful words, thoughts, and actions in the context of the style of mindfulness meditation practiced at Common Ground. We will offer learning opportunities on topics like the noticing and working with breath, feelings, the body and conditions that lead to happiness and unhappiness for ourselves and those around us.  There will be a consistent yoga/mindful movement component each week.  A strong emphasis will be placed on cultivating curiosity around cause and effect as it unfolds in the context of our relationships with our heart/mind, body, classmates, friends, mentors and teachers as well as with our relationships to our communities and nature. We aim to keep the class fun and interesting so that kids want to return!


Session Dates: April 24, May 1, 8, 15, 22

Families are invited to enter child(ren) ages 3 through 3rd grade in the lottery.  There will be two classes at the same time 10:30am: The first class will be held at Common Ground with Nancy and Rachel. The second class with Josh and Joe will be held at The Matthew’s Parks Rec Center. For this class, that is off site parents will drop off and pick up at Matthew’s Park. Both classes offer a maximum of three preschool aged children spots per session per session. We are so grateful to have wonderful teachers like Joe and Josh stepping up to help meet the demand by offering an additional program.

To enter your child(ren) in the lottery, please reply to this email with the following information:

Name(s) and age(s) of child(ren):

Grade level in school/preschool:

Name(s) of sibling(s) entering the Preteen Program lottery:


Before registering, please consider whether you can commit to four of five Sundays from 4/24-5/22.  If it feels difficult to commit to four classes this session, there will be an opportunity to sign up for the next session.   We look forward to hearing from you.



Rachel, Nancy, Joe and Josh

Youth Program Teachers Common Ground Meditation Center


Nancy’s background includes a range of experience and education. She began her professional career as a math teacher and taught math in Nepal when she was in the Peace Corps from 1993-95. It was then that she discovered yoga. In 2000 she was certified at the Kripalu Center to teach yoga and then left the math classroom. Nancy has been practicing meditation at Common Ground since 2003 and began enthusiastically teaching Mindful Yoga at Common Ground in 2007.  Nancy also teaches yoga to adults and children in the wider community. She is currently enrolled in Spirit Rock Meditation Center’s 2- year Mindful Yoga and Meditation Training. Nancy lives in Longfellow with her 6 year old daughter Signe, her husband, Eric, cat Fergus, and is somewhat obsessed with foster parenting monarch caterpillars.

Rachel Martin is a Licensed Associate Marriage and Family Therapist (LAMFT) with over twenty years of experience working and volunteering in childcare centers, schools, and therapeutic settings with young children.  She completed the clinical work for her master’s program at Kente Circle in South Minneapolis working alongside a multicultural team of colleagues and clients.  Informed by her own spiritual practice and time with clients, Rachel believes our richest learning happens when we honor the inner wisdom of our direct experience while strengthening connections with our familial, spiritual, and cultural communities.  She has been a grateful volunteer and community member at Common Ground since 2010.  Rachel lives in Saint Paul with husband, Nick, children, Frances and Earl, and aquatic frog, Tangamanga. She enjoys spending time in nature, meditating, traveling, building community through cooking and sharing delicious food with others, and attending Nancy Boler’s fantastic yoga classes.  Rachel has profound respect for children and their ability to ask, in the most creative of ways, for the adults in their world to slow down and pay attention to this moment right now.


Joe Fuemmeler has a Bachelor’s in Psychology and has been working with adults with intellectual disabilities and challenging behavior for over fifteen years at a day program called Chrestomathy in South Minneapolis.  In his work, he has facilitated activities for groups involving the arts, gardening and healthy eating, and a mindfulness-based curriculum for emotion regulation and skillful living.  He has also been a student of Tai Chi Ch’uan with Great River Tai Chi since 2000.   Joe has been practicing meditation at Common Ground since 2012 after hearing about it from his wife Katie, and has enjoyed attending and assisting with the children’s programming with his daughter Anya.  He enjoys camping, canoeing, cooking, gardening, and watching his wife perform in theaters around the Twin Cities.  As a the third child of a family of eight, Joe has always felt at home in large groups of children and enjoys their endless curiosity and capacity for joy.


Joshua Lang and his family have been members at Common Ground since 2007. Joshua has a Masters in Social Work and is a bilingual social worker at Windom Spanish Dual Immersion in the Minneapolis Public Schools. Joshua has enjoyed volunteering with the Children’s program for many years and is excited for this new opportunity, especially bringing music into his teaching with the kids.



Greetings Common Ground Families,

We’re writing to invite you to enter the lottery for the next session of the Preteen Program at Common Ground, session dates are: April 17, 24, May 1, 8, 15, 22.; for kids in grades 4-7.

Session Details:

Exploring the 10 Perfections of the Heart:

This session, we’ll be using the buddhist teaching on the 10 paramis (perfections of the heart): generosity, virtue, renunciation, wisdom, energy, patience, truthfulness, resolve, lovingkindness, and equanimity. We’ll explore them in the context of meditation and our daily lives.  We will do mindful movement practices, meditation, have discussions, and of course, play games!

Lottery Details:

To enter your child(ren) in the lottery, please reply to this email with the following information:

Name(s) and grade(s) of child(ren):

Name(s) of sibling(s) entering the Children’s Program (K-3) lottery:

  • The lottery opens March 13 and closes March 23. We will notify you if your child(ren) has a spot in the class some time the week of the April 4.

  • If you are entering more than one child in this lottery, their names will be drawn together.
  • We will also be communicating with the Children’s Program teachers and drawing names together. If one family is chosen, all children will be allowed into both programs
  • Before registering, please consider whether you can commit to five of six Sundays: April 17, 24, May 1, 8, 15, 22.  If it feels difficult to commit to 5 classes this session, please do not sign up for this session in order to give priority to families who can make all sessions.


We look forward to hearing from you,

Erica, Emily, and Gabe


Teacher Bios

Erica Schultz has been actively involved in the Common Ground community since 2013. She has co-lead the preteen program for the past two years and coordinates the drop-in summer program. She also volunteers with the Common Ground Prison program and frequently serves as a staff member on Common Ground residential retreats. For the past 15 years, Erica has worked with young people in a variety of settings including as a babysitter, a sailing school instructor and as an assistant in religious school and HeadStart classrooms. She also worked for four summers as a camp counselor at Farm & Wilderness camps in Vermont. Erica is deeply passionate about sharing mindfulness with families and is very excited for another year with the program.

Gabe Keller has been an active member of the Common Ground Community since 2008. He currently serves on the board, leads a quarterly retreat for young adults, and coordinates the annual music festival. He has experience working with kids, at Nickelodeon Universe, where he worked in the costume character department, and at a center for unaccompanied immigrant children in Florida. He loves working with kids and is excited to learn and grow together!

Emily Hurd is 27 years old and from South Minneapolis. She has been practicing meditation for two years. She is excited to facilitate the preteen group for the winter session with her favorite topic: the brama viharas! She has worked with preteens previously in Mexico, teaching English as a Foreign language. Now she works as a Patient Advocate at a Dental Clinic and speaks Spanish. She also enjoys swimming, singing, dancing and running around the lakes.

Shana Scogin has enjoyed attending day retreats, classes, and workshops at Common Ground since 2014 and practices weekly with a sitting group in NE Minneapolis. She has a rich history of working with young people, including volunteering with the children of a refugee family in Portland, OR from 2007-2008 and working as a public school English teacher in Seoul, Korea for three years from 2008-2011 (1st-6th grades). When not walking her dog, Milton, or discussing the meaning of life, community, and happiness with her Dharma friends, Shana works as a supply chain analyst at a local hospital. She sees human beings as inherently interconnected and feels privileged to be able to both teach and learn from the amazing young people in our community!

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