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Surprising Science

Elementary Students Skip Recess For Meditation

A lunch-time meditation club at a North Philadelphia elementary school encourages third- and fourth-graders to take part in mindfulness exercises.

What’s the Latest?

A group of third- and fourth-graders at Isaac Sheppard Elementary School in North Philadelphia have opted for a more serene way to spend their recess time. Instead of heading outside to play, the students filter into the classroom of teacher Jamie Roberts and take part in the school’s meditation club. Anyone who has ever spent more than 10 seconds with a 9-year-old knows how ridiculous it sounds that twenty of them could sit still and quietly focus on mindfulness. Yet, according to this article on Newsworks, the students are able to subdue their youthful exuberance and embrace the calm.

What’s the Big Idea?

Roberts had been meditating in her classroom by herself five years ago when a group of students expressed interest in joining her. As Roberts explains, a local shooting had frazzled the children to the point where some couldn’t sleep at night. Needing an outlet and a way to relax, Roberts began including the students in what became the meditation club. Most of the children appear to have experienced positive change thanks to the practice:

“Meditation changed my life because I was like stressed out. And when I found meditation, it kept me happy and calm.” -Andrew, 3rd grade

Check out the story (linked below) for more student responses as well as discussion of meditation’s positive influence on children.

Keep reading at Newsworks

Photo credit: Ruslan Guzov / Shutterstock


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