Why Mindfulness Belongs in the Classroom

Research shows that mindfulness skills improve memory, organizational skills, reading and math scores, all while giving kids the tools they need to handle toxic stress.

Pre-K students at the Momentous Institute take a breathing break.

Four-year-old Faith already believes in the power of breathing to help her do her best learning. “I was trying to match some letters and I got really frustrated,” says Faith. “And I needed to take a deep breath and I almost got it. I almost got it by myself and I felt just a little happy.”

Faith knows that the simple act of breathing can help her focus to complete the task at hand. She attends the Momentous School, a program of the Momentous Institute, a 97-year-old organization devoted to the social emotional health of kids and families. The school has been tracking kids’ progress for almost 20 years and have accumulated significant data showing the positive effects of incorporating mindfulness into education. Faith and her classmates are learning essential skills that research shows may give children lifelong protection against one of the most serious and quickly growing threats to child well-being in America today: toxic stress.

How toxic stress impedes healthy development in kids

Toxic stress is a prolonged activation of the stress response – without the buffer of safe relationships. It, along with “adverse childhood experiences” (ACES) – such as, poverty, abuse, domestic…