School Replaces Detention With Meditation And Kids Are Thriving

A Baltimore school has replaced the outdated method known as detention with a meditation program. This replacement and a new start to different concept in schools is a great initiative for other schools around the world.

Instead of spending old traditional detention hours, kids at Robert W. Coleman School attend the so called Holistic Me after-school program . This program includes meditation, yoga, mindfulness, centering and breathing exercises.

“Combined with extra-curricular and academic components – and dinner – the award-winning after-school program empowers youth with the skills for peaceful conflict resolution, improved focus and concentration, greater control and awareness of thoughts and emotions, improved self-regulation, anger management and stress reduction,” the Open Society Institute-Baltimore wrote about the program. The society helps fund the after-school time.

There have been enormous changes in kids’ attitude since the start of the program. All of the energy they get from the meditation exercises help them perform better at school. The school hasn’t issued a single suspension since the program started being practiced and that was 2 years ago.

“Kids in underserved communities might be stressed because they can’t eat, they don’t have food or they come to school with their clothes dirty and they get joked,” explained founder Ali Smith. “Kids at private school are stressed too. They have achievement anxiety or they’re not connecting with their parents because they’re traveling or working. It just manifests itself differently. But it can be damaging, no matter what, if they don’t learn how to address it.” Smith started Holistic Me with his brother, Atman Smith, and they’ve since brought on their best friend, Andrés Gonzalez.

The brothers owe their deep knowledge of meditation to their father. “Our Dad would make us meditate before school every morning,” Atman shared. “As young adults, we all got into our own personal yoga practice. But then we realized we shouldn’t be the only ones feeling this good. We had to share it.” And shared they have, Holistic Me is in its 15th year and now serves more than 120 students in 13 city schools alongside some independent schools.

First grader Tamia Anderson, 6 explained: . “It helps you stay focused, it helps distract [me] if anybody is talking to me badly. It makes me unmad.”

Holistic Me program also teaches kids how to be leaders. Yoga lessons are led by a student while supervised by an adult. Kids think that the ability of teaching others is very cool .

Except for the meditation and yoga classes , kids can also engage in various other activities such as badminton, basketball, woodworking, art, entrepreneurship, martial arts, dance, steel drums and STEM activities.

The whole process is a great help for kids even after they leave the program. They are being taught how to deal with physical, mental and emotional stresses of life in general. The program teaches them how to have inner peace for the rest of their lives.

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