From PBS NewsHour
(February 21, 2017) Violent crime and unemployment rates are nearly twice the national average in Baltimore. Educators say factors like these add significant stress to children, causing emotional and behavioral problems, so several public schools are working to reduce that stress with mindfulness and meditation. Patterson High in Baltimore offers a meditation program run by the nonprofit Holistic Life Foundation.
Kirk Philips, Program Manager: “There’s the drama, there’s violence, there’s all kinds of issues. And they need it more than most kids who don’t have that sort of trauma in their everyday lives. Those are the kids that really do need to step outside of that cycle of violence.”
Coleman Elementary offers after-school meditation and yoga to third and fourth graders. The principal, Carlillian Thompson, has noticed a major change in behavior in the last three years: “Since it’s been in effect, office referrals, the number has gone to almost zero. We have zero suspensions. The children are now able to embrace it and realize that: I don’t have to be angry. I don’t have to fight. I don’t have to show off. All I need to do is breathe.”