In a “detention room,” kids at thisIn a “detention room,” kids at this

In many schools around the world, “detention” is a dreaded punishment for unruly students.Detention tends to involve uninterested kids, staring at walls, bored out of their mind and trying to either talk to the other kids without getting caught. Most students think of detention as “unfair” and unproductive. They aren’t “learning a lesson.” They’re just counting down the minutes until they can leave!Now, at the Robert W. Coleman Elementary School in Baltimore, students who act out are no longer faced with detention but rather meditation.Yes, you read that right. I’ve always believed in the strong, healing powers of meditation and I was thrilled to learn that this elementary school is implementing it as a way to remedy bad behavior. Rather than a “detention room,” kids at this school are sent to the Mindful Moment Room.This room is the opposite of grey and drab; it’s filled with lamps, decorations, and bright plush pillows. Misbehaving kids are encouraged to sit in the room and go through practices like breathing or meditation, helping them calm down and re-center. They are also asked to talk through what happened.Meditation isn’t some new-fangled technique, though the practice has been more prevalent in recent years. In fact, meditation has been a calming technique used for over 5,000 years! Meditation has been proven to: Reverse Heart DiseaseIncrease Blood FlowIncrease EnergyIncrease FocusReduce StressAnd Much More! Imagine creating an environment in school that gives children an opportunity to reconnect, reduce whatever may be stressing them out, and increase their focus. These students in Maryland are sure to come out more energized and ready to take on the rest of the day. “Dare to visualize a world in which your most treasured dreams have become true.” — Ralph MarstonThe meditation room at this particular school was created in partnership with the Holistic Life Foundation, a local nonprofit. For more than 10 years the foundation has been offering the after-school program Holistic Me, where kids from pre-K through the fifth grade practice mindfulness exercises and yoga.Can you imagine a room filled with silent children? Surely, something must be wrong with that picture. But the crazy thing is – it’s working!In the August 2016 issue of Oprah Magazine, Holistic Life Foundation co-founder Andres Gonzalez said: “We’ve had parents tell us, ‘I came home the other day stressed out, and my daughter said, ‘Hey, Mom, you need to sit down. I need to teach you how to breathe.'”The program also helps mentor and tutor the kids, as well as teach them about the environment– another area of which I am very passionate about. The world is not ours to neglect; we must learn to respect Nature and she will provide us with everything we need in return.It’s crucial to teach children the importance of this from a young age.These students help to clean up local parks, build gardens, and visit nearby farms. It’s a wonderful thing!The greater news? This isn’t just a one-off thing – other schools are trying this type of holistic approach as well and the results are amazing. It’s been reported that since the program has been implemented, Robert W. Coleman Elementary has seen exactly zero suspensions. Nearby Patterson Park High School, which also uses the mindfulness programs, also said suspension rates dropped and attendance increased as well.I love the idea of teaching children about mindfulness and meditation; it’s a great way to build a strong core from a young age and to really learn how to connect with oneself when put in a difficult situation. It’s natural for kids (and adults, even!) to become upset or agitated in certain environments and situations. Rather than sticking them in a room, with an uninterested teacher to “monitor” them for an hour, teach them something that can be of use. Isn’t that what school is about anyway? Teaching and educating our youth to become the best version of themselves, filled with knowledge they can share with others? That’s what really matters! I’m excited to see this trend grow; it can only lead to greater outcomes along the way.