Low-Income Schools See Big Benefits in Teaching Mindfulness

In our busy distracted lives, sometimes it is hard to slow down and focus. I recently learned how to practice mindfulness, the focusing of awareness and attention through breathing, at a local college. I find I can concentrate more and feel less stress when I remember to practice. I read with interest Katirna Schwartz’s article on Mind/Shift, about teaching mindfulness to children in a distracted classroom. Jean-Gabrielle Larochette, an elementary school teacher in Richmond, California  – turned to mindfulness for himself to help with the stress of teaching in a school in a  low-income neighborhood. He believed the breathing techniques he learned might also help his students – and so he founded the Mindful Life Project. “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,” said Larochette. “We tell kids be quiet, calm yourself down, be still. We tell them all these things they need in the classroom, but we’re not teaching them how to do that.” Click here to read the article.

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