Beginning the Day with Meditation at R5 High

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo.-For most of us, the beginning of each high school day included walking to first period, sitting down, and trying to pay attention to a teacher's lecture.

In other words, getting straight into the material.

Now, one class at R5 High School is starting the day off with meditation, to focus on the mind.

Did I get my assignment in on time? Did I get a passing grade? Did I pass the test I just took?

These are just a few of the stresses that go on in the high school halls, and R5 High School is attempting to remove these daily worries.

"We want every learner that walks through this door and exits to have the skill to be able to meditate, do yoga, to handle stress in their life," says Donald Trujillo, R5 High School Principal.

"These are just things that improve intellectual levels in people, because if they can retain attention to a class, if they can be a little bit more prepared when they come in, they're more likely to learn more," says Amber McElwee, Mathematics Instructor.

So every day for the first 20 minutes of class, these students stop the hustle and bustle and focus on themselves.

"It's just a lot of stress through school, and meditation just helps you relieve the stress," says senior Amber Graham.

School officials say that they can see, verbally and non verbally, the difference in the students.

"What we have seen from our learners is that they're more calm, they're more aware and in the present moment, more engaged in the curriculum after they meditate in the morning," says Trujillo.

"It's teaching kids to be ok with their past, be ready for their present, and prepare for their futures," says McElwee.

Students have also noticed a difference.

"After I've been doing this class every single morning, it's actually helped my balance out my anger and not get as angry as fast. It helps me remind myself, hey, this is your center, your calm," says Graham.

This class is not all about meditation, students do earn math and history credit.

The principal of R5 says his vision is to eventually have the whole school participate in meditation and mindfulness before class.


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