As seen on Scary Mommy, a school from Baltimore has removed the apparently outdated and useless tradition known as detention. Instead of it, the Robert W. Coleman School has a meditation program designed for its students. Without doubt, other schools should definitely follow their example because truth being told; detention has not been of use too much.
The Meditation “Detention”
Instead of having to stare at walls, children from this school attend the Holistic Me after-school program where they are taught yoga, meditation, mindfulness, and breathing techniques. According to Scary Mommy, this award-winning program provides youth with the necessary skills for a peaceful resolution of conflicts, sharper focus and concentration, higher awareness and control of thoughts and emotions, better self-regulation, anger management, and stress reduction methods.
The after-school program is funded by the society. It was first introduced two years ago and since then, there has not been a single suspension issued in the school. The founder, Ali Smith, explains that children from underserved communities often feel stressed due to not having food to eat or not having clean clothes to wear, for which they get laughed at. But, children from private schools are also stressed because of achievement anxiety or because of not having enough time to connect with their families due to constant travel or work.
The stress is present in both environments, it just manifests in a different manner. Still, it can cause damage and it therefore requires adequate management. Smith began the program with his brother Atman and they have also brought on their friend, Andres Gonzalez.
The two brothers have deep knowledge of meditation which they received from their father who encouraged them to meditate before school. And, they also practice yoga since young age. Hence, they wanted to spread this good feeling with others. Nowadays, the program serves more than 120 students from 13 city schools and in some independent schools too.
Other Benefits of the Program
The program, as explained on Scary Mommy, does not just offer meditation, yoga, and breathing exercises, but a lot of other activities like basketball, woodworking, art, martial arts, dancing, etc. The volunteers also help with children’s homework and tutoring.
Without doubt, the program does help children long-term because it teaches them the physical, emotional, and mental tools to address the almost-inevitable stress in life.
The children are often taught that although outside may be chaotic, there is always a place where they can go to inside and it is theirs and, no one can take it away from them.