At one high school in Baltimore, three men aim to resolve issues of low attendance and high dropout and detention rates through unconventional methods: yoga and meditation!
Sounds crazy, but 15 minutes at the beginning and end of the day just might work.
Andy, Atman, and Ali, co-founders of the Holistic Life Foundation, thought up the idea after bringing yoga and mindfulness to underserved communities for over 12 years, and witnessing the impact. Known as the "Mindful Moment Program," all students, with the instruction of trainers, participate in a brief session of stretching, focusing and centering to help release stress and negative emotions in the morning when they arrive to class, and each afternoon before they leave.
The project was started at Patterson High School, where end-of-year suspension rates are at 16 percent, nearly 15 percent of students don't graduate, and more than 60 percent of students are absent over 20 days a year. According to the project's IndieGoGo page, "the school's state testing falls far below the average in Maryland."
Working alongside The Institute of Integrative Health and the University of Maryland Center for Integrative Health, the wellness project has already made an impact.
"Our first afterschool program of just 20 kids was phenomenally successful," the trio writes. "Within just two months, all of the kids in the program were no longer getting detentions, were showing up to their classes, and, for the first time ever, passing all of their classes. Some of those same students now teach for us at local colleges, in the afterschool program, and at senior centers in the city."
Soon, the entire student body and staff will participate.
The Mindful Moment team is currently spearheading a crowdfunding campaign to raise enough money to see the project through. They've received $85,000 from benefactors already, but their goal is $160,000.
You can find out more details here.
Watch the budding yogis in action!
More of the Good News: