By: Krystle Crossman
During the first 15 minutes of school and the last 15 minutes of school at Brooklyn’s Urban Garden School you can hear a pin drop. Silence echoes from the classrooms and through the hallways. A bell rings and all of the students sit at their desks and become silent. They do this every day. Why are they doing it? They do it for clarity, peace of mind, and better grades.
Meditation is a practice that is often used to calm the mind and wash all stress away. It is a practice that has been performed at the Urban Garden School for over two years now and the students have come away with some very positive results. Some of them meditate, some of them stare off into space and daydream, others think about their day and reflect. No matter how they use their time they are all silent. It is known as Quiet Time in the school. Students have positive reactions about this time that they have every day to sit and think. One student says that he gets into less arguments with other people through the day because he doesn’t feel as stressed out. Another stated that it helped him to get better grades because he could refresh and think clearly.
There are 18 different schools across the country that have put Quiet Time into their day. It was developed in the 90s in Washington DC but hadn’t really taken off up until a few years ago. The program is funded by the David Lynch Foundation. They are hoping that they can raise enough money to allow any school to adopt this program if they want to no matter what area they are in or what their budget is. The executive director of the foundation, Bob Roth, said that down the line the hope is that meditation will be a class that students take just like Phys Ed. Since the program is fairly new in schools there are not many studies on the long-term effects that Quiet Time has on children but already they are seeing the kids that participate have better grades overall, better mental health among the students and teachers, and less suspensions.