Moving America Forward

Mindfulness Isn’t Just a Hot Trend. It’s Improving Low-Income Schools

January 22, 2014
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Mindfulness Isn’t Just a Hot Trend. It’s Improving Low-Income Schools
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The concept is living in the moment, and it's making a big difference in schools across the country.

When kids can’t concentrate on their studies, it’s probably because their attention is focused on everything else going on in their lives. Consider the students at Coronado Elementary School, a low-income, public school in Richmond, Calif. Jean-Gabrielle Larochette, a teacher at the school, had his formerly rowdy class of kids practice the calming method of “Mindfulness,” a trendy meditation-like exercise that preaches “living in the moment,” for 15 minutes every day. The method showed such amazing results that he went on to found the Mindful Life Project, a non-profit that seeks to empower children through mindful living. Larochette told Mindshift that all the schools his organization works with have seen drops in disciplinary action. Other studies have shown that practicing mindfulness may also reduce ADHD behaviors and increase attention in young students.

MORE: How Meditation Is Bringing Calm to San Francisco’s Toughest Schools

“Before we can teach a kid how to academically excel in school, we need to teach him how to have stillness, pay attention, stay on task, regulate, make good choices,” Larochette told the publication. Mindfulness may be a trendy relaxation method for adults, but it looks like it’s helping kids stay on track, too.

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