KALW reports on Visitacion Valley Middle School's implementation of the innovative Quiet Time program, which sets aside fifteen minutes at the beginning and end of each school day for students to meditate. All but a few of the kids practice the voluntary activity and report finding it enjoyable. The school has experienced a small but encouraging rise in test scores and attendance rates so far.
Visitacion Valley's principal, James Dierke, started the program four years ago to help his students deal with the stress of living in a neighborhood that's seen, in just the past three months alone, two homicides and over a hundred assaults within a mile radius of the school.
The program is funded largely in part by the David Lynch Foundation, which aims to provide Transcendental Meditation in schools and communities that could benefit from stress reduction. San Francisco's Everett Middle School and John O’Connell High School have also recently begun trying out the Quiet Time program.
This quote by Tristan, a Vistacion Valley 8th-grader, who's been doing meditation at school since 6th grade, says it all:
Well, when they first took me in to train, I wasn’t so sure about the program... But when I started to get into it and started to do it every day I noticed that it really helped me because I was sort of a trouble child, and then when I started to meditate I started to become a leader, I got good grades, so it was really helpful.