February 7th, 2015
Ryan Takes ‘Mindfulness’ to Inner-City Schools
By Dan O’Brien, The Business Journal
It’s mid-afternoon and a student in Mrs. Evelyn Fisher’s kindergarten class at Williamson Elementary School walks quietly to a corner and begins to cry.
Within seconds, five other students surround her. “Breathe in, breathe out,” they coach, as they try to console their classmate with gentle pats on
the back. A minute passes, her distress evaporates, and she returns to her desk to wait for the next lesson.
“They didn’t need our help,” observes Martha King, a school counselor at Williamson and liaison for the Youngstown School District’s Skills for Life program, which was introduced last year. “Because of this program, they have been given tools that they can use to help them to relax.”
Deep breathing exercises, meditation, instructions on how to think before acting, and methods on how to talk through a problem are all part of a curriculum being implemented in specified kindergarten and elementary classes in the Youngstown and Warren school districts. The Skills for Life program was made possible by a $982,000 earmark secured in 2009 by U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan, D-17 Ohio, for the Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning. Ryan is a champion of the effort and a strong advocate of developing “mindfulness” for personal and institutional growth in the United States. . . . Read the full article in The Business Journal here!