PRWEB Press Release: Schools throughout the country have signed on to implement a meditation in the classroom program through Peter Amato’s Pathway to Peace movement and are in dire need of sponsors to help fund the program. Applications from inner city districts, private academies, as well as charter, rural and public schools – elementary, intermediate and secondary – demonstrate enthusiasm and a pressing need for proven methods to help children reduce stress in their lives.
As one District of Columbia high school teacher entering the competition wrote, “Our students have witnessed murder, dropped out, fought, sold and ingested drugs before and after school. The communities that the students come from are downright scary and when they walk in the door they bring all that with them. The underlying truth is that until we help students with the stress of their home lives, we are simply masking the problems. A large portion of our students do not know how to resolve stress…they need quiet time built into the schedule for meditation.”
Through his global mind-body movement, Pathway To Peace, Meditation Master Amato launched a nationwide search for schools that are interested in starting a meditation program as well as those who want to compete to receive the program training free. Amato is willing to take on five schools, providing free materials and training to teachers at five deserving schools.
He issued a challenge to the nation’s businesses, corporations and community organizations to join him by sponsoring meditation programs in their local school systems. Sponsors are needed to assist with funding the training and materials needed to make the program happen. States seeking sponsors to date include Massachusetts, New Jersey, California, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Florida, Connecticut, Georgia, Oklahoma, Colorado, South Carolina, New York and Ohio, with more expected. Parents and teachers can show support as well by getting their school on board, sharing ideas and seeking sponsorships.
Interested schools were asked to either enter a competition to be selected for free training or to enroll with the goal of finding or being paired with a sponsor to fund the program. The competition ends September 30, 2013, with five schools being selected in October based on the essays or videos submitted detailing the reasons they feel they should be chosen.
Meditation is a proven method to aid kids in reducing stress, avoiding self destructive activities, and finding inner peace that is not being employed to great extent. Amato developed and implemented a meditation in the classroom pilot program under a U.S. Department of Education grant in the Scranton (Pennsylvania) School that included a qualitative research methodology to measure the attributes and benefits of the program as well as a qualitative case study methodology to develop a mixed method research approach.
Edutopia.org reports that as of 2012 only 91 schools in 13 states are implementing meditation in the classroom. Results from these controlled trials in elementary and high schools showed a 38% decrease in suspension days and 25% fewer class absences among high school students. Students in grades one through seven practicing mindfulness meditation achieved significantly improved scores on validated attention-skills tests, while students in grades four through seven demonstrated an 8% reduction in aggressive behavior.
In response to the rash of school shootings that seem to occur on an almost regular basis on campuses across the country, “the time has arrived to re-evaluate and reconsider introducing meditation in the schools,” said Amato. “While meditation has been practiced for hundreds of years, and its benefits widely recognized, it has not become mainstream enough to be utilized as a coping tool.”
According to Amato, integrative medicine pioneer, author and certified meditation and yoga master, meditation programs in schools have proven to help children’s attentiveness become keen, diminish the illusion of fear and anxiety, heighten self-esteem, reduce anger and jealousy, resulting in healthy communication and socialization skills and peace of mind.
Another school seeking a sponsor to bring meditation to its students said, “We have a high poverty level with the majority of the students being raised in single parent homes. They are faced with a great deal of stress because they face many adult situations. We service a great group of kids who could benefit from being given the tools to overcome and solve conflicts. This program will empower out students to change their lives as well as the lives of others.”
The goal, and the hope, according to all involved, is to have the Meditation in the Classroom Program become a national collaboration, spreading throughout communities and corporate America so that students from every school in the country have the opportunity to benefit from meditative practices.