Baltimore Elementary School Teaches Meditation
They haven't had a suspension in two years
Meditation has always been seen an exotic, Eastern practice that involves serious concentration and intense spiritual dedication. In reality, this simple, easy-to-learn life-changing practice can (and should!) be enjoyed by everyone. Studies show that meditation eases stress, preserves the brain, improves focus, helps with addiction, and can manage symptoms caused by depression. So it’s no wonder that when a elementary school in Baltimore, Maryland taught its students to meditate, the results were amazing.
Two years ago, the Robert W. Coleman School in Baltimore, in partnership with the Holistic Life Foundation, created a Mindful Moment Room for its students. Now, instead of sending kids to detention when they misbehave, they spend time in a quiet room decked out with purple pillows, draped fabric, and lamps. Here the students meditate and then discuss their behavior with an instructor. After implementing the new program, the school hasn’t had to issue a single suspension.
As part of the program, the students are taught breathing exercises and meditation practices they can use between classes or before stressful exams. “I took deep breaths to stay calm and just finish the test,” a fifth grader says on the Holistic Life Foundation’s website. “When everybody around you Is making a lot of noises just trying to tune them out…and be yourself, do your breathing.” These new practices also help students in their home lives as well. “This morning I got mad at my Dad, but then I remembered to breathe and then I didn’t shout,” another student said on the site.
Meditation is one of the most powerful and effective practices adults can use to relieve stress and improve their emotional well-being. By teaching this practice to young children the Robert W. Coleman school is raising a generation of students with greater potential to create positive change in themselves and their communities.