Monday, July 25, 2011

From time-out to quiet time: meditation comes to SF schools

Innovative ideas are often born in California. This is the home of Silicon Valley, after all. But, that spirit of innovation isn’t limited to finding more ways to plug in to the world of high tech. Innovation also means finding ways to disconnect from it all. This kind of innovation is taking place in three San Francisco public schools that have started school-wide meditation programs. The hope is that a little quiet time and mindfulness will help facilitate learning.
It's all paid for with private money, and one school says it's seeing results. Natalie Jones reports on how it works.
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By Natalie Jones: Middle schools do not tend to be quiet places. For many people, middle school is hard enough in the best of circumstances. For students growing up in rough neighborhoods or dealing with difficult family issues, it can be especially stressful.
That’s why four years ago, James Dierke, principal of Visitacion Valley Middle School in San Francisco, decided to implement a meditation program for the entire school to see if it would help students and teachers deal with stress and focus on schoolwork.

JAMES DIERKE: There’s individual stresses of just being a teenager, there’s family stress, there’s community stress, and all those things multiply within a person. So this is something that everyone can do and doesn’t require a tremendous amount of effort on their part but has great results.

The program is called Quiet Time, and it teachers students the practice of Transcendental Meditation. Read more and listen to the audio archive at KALW.

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