Youth-Nex | The U.Va. Center to Promote Effective Youth Development
Special Presentation: Valerie Maholmes
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Time Magazine and the Christian Science Monitor both highlighted the Compassionate Schools Project curriculum, which is being implemented in Louisville, Kentucky classrooms.
"Louisville's Experiment: Can Teaching Empathy Boost Math Scores?"
-Christian Science Monitor
From the Time Magazine article, by Mandy Oaklander
Some Experts Think Mindfulness is the Antidote to Distraction, Misbehaving—Even Poor Math Scores. Are They on to Something?
Christina Johnson’s Classroom must be the most peaceful place at Cane Run Elementary School in Louisville, Ky. Instead of desks, six rows of black yoga mats line the floor. All the lights are off except for one gently glowing lamp. Underwater sounds gurgle from a pair of speakers. Today nearly two dozen fifth-graders are sitting on the mats with their shoes off and eyes closed, following Johnson as she guides them through a relaxation exercise. “Take a nice, nice deep breath in, and keep your hands on your anchors, please,” Johnson says. The kids place one hand on their chest, the other on their belly. Johnson taps a chime and the kids know what to do: listen intently, and when the long reverberation stops, their hands shoot up. “Good job,” Johnson says.
Photo by Luke Sharrett for Time: Fifth-graders flow through yoga-inspired poses in a mindfulness class at a public school in Louisville, KY.
*Time Magazine allows access to the full article only with a subscription here, “The Mindful Classroom,” but you may get the article by contacting Youth-Nex. For this permission, contact: Ellen Daniels firstname.lastname@example.org.
More about CSP in a Letter From the Director, Patrick Tolan
We are excited to mark the first year of a six-year, $11 million randomized control trial, the Compassionate Schools Project, integrating a health and wellness curriculum for elementary students. The research is the most comprehensive ever undertaken of a 21st century health and wellness curriculum in an elementary or secondary school setting and was developed for K-5 students in 25 schools in Louisville, Kentucky.
We have formed a unique collaboration with private philanthropy, two centers at U.Va. (including Youth-Nex), the city of Louisville, and the Jefferson County Public Schools and aim to have a major impact on children’s education nationwide in terms of academic performance, physical education, character development, and child health policies. I am joined in this work with Youth-Nex faculty members Patricia Jennings and Alexis Harris.
It is also important to note that this work could not have been undertaken without the leadership of Louisville mayor, Greg Fischer a dedicated partner of the Charter of Compassion movement.
We look forward to reporting more progress in the coming months. Keep up with this project and other developments on this website and in Youth-Nex newsletters.
More Information on the Project:
Compassionate Schools Project Website
Selected Press Coverage:
TIME Magazine - The Mindful Classroom
NPR - When Teachers Take a Breath, Students Can Bloom
For all news: CSP NEWS PAGE
YOUTH-NEX — The Center to Promote Effective Youth Development — is a transdisciplinary center promoting healthy youth development, educational attainment and learning. Working across the University, Youth-Nex focuses on the assets of young people and works in a wide variety of areas including health management, civic engagement and education. Youth-Nex also aims to prevent youth problems such as violence, physical and mental health issues, substance abuse and school failure.
Youth-Nex programs of research focus on critical areas of youth development. These programs are multi-investigator, cross-disciplinary systematic research efforts. Each program is led by a U.Va. faculty member possessing substantial experience and expertise. It is our goal to generate new understanding about the most useful practices and appropriate policies in youth development.