Many people credit daily meditation as a way to cope with stress, improve overall mood, and boost productivity. But it’s not just for adults.
It’s your typical classroom; desks stacked with schoolwork and plenty of smiling faces but at Hawthorne Academy, the day starts a little different.
In Ms. Brame-Paris’ second-grade class, it’s light’s off, eyes closed and positive vibes only.
After receiving a $500 grant from SAISD Foundation, Karen Brame-Paris decided to introduce meditation, or ‘mindful body’ to her students.
“With this, we are processing how do I feel and why do I feel? I think this gives us a little insight on why we do what we do and it helps us to manage it,” she said.
Student Brenden Allen said meditation helps him start his day.
“I wouldn’t do this usually but this is just the time where I like to relax and get all my worries and send a positive vibe to the people I like,” Allen said.
Ms. Brame-Paris said the ‘mindful body’ can also help students through difficult times outside of the classroom too, like a death in the family or sudden divorce.
“I want them to be problem solvers and I think this is one way to solve a problem. It’s not the only way but I try to give them as many tools as I can,” she said.
Student Zsofia Hernandez also said she has seen the benefits in her daily life.
“It’s a brand new thing to me and it helps me do things I need to do.”
Fellow classmate Xavier Alonzo recently used what he learned at a trip to the doctor’s office.
“I always have to stay still so my blood pressure won’t go high and I decided to do the ‘mindful body’ to calm my body down,” Alonzo said.
Ms. Brame-Paris said she hopes the students take this with them as they go through life.
“I want them to be successful readers, writers, mathematicians; but then I also want them to be successful in their minds and hearts.”
The meditation program is already practiced at SAISD’s Young Men’s Leadership Academy just a few miles down the road.
The principal of Hawthorne Academy is now also considering implementing it school-wide next year.