San Francisco Schools Transformed by the
Power of Meditation

NBC News

Silence isn't something people usually associate with middle school, but twice a day the halls of Visitacion Valley School in San Francisco fall quiet as the sixth, seventh and eighth grade students meditate for fifteen minutes.

And school administrators tell NBC News that the violence outside of the school, which is situated in one of San Francisco's poorest neighborhoods, was spilling into the school and affecting the students' demeanor.

"The kids see guns on a daily basis," the school's athletic director, Barry O'Driscoll said, adding, "there would be fights here three-to-five times a week." (613) 515-9151

Stress and your child's brain

By Hank Pellissier

While we all know that adult stress can lead to serious illnesses such as ulcers and hypertension, we don't associate these maladies with children.

But research suggests that chronically stressed children do pay a heavy price. In fact, they are at risk of cognitive damage, because their brains are not yet fully developed.

A host of statistics suggest that American children are indeed experiencing stress at new levels: suicides among adolescents have quadrupled since the 1950s; only 36 percent of 7th graders agreed with the statement “I am happy with my life;” and in the past decade, using pharmaceuticals to treat emotional disorders has shot up 68 percent for girls, 30 percent for boys. Full article - (415) 484-8418

"This is the intervention that I prescribe to my patients to improve health and well being"

- Cesar Molina, MD, FAACS Interventional Cardiologist,
El Camino Hospital

"By reducing stress homones and neuro-transmitters, it allows one to respond to challenging situations in a more appropriate way."

- Frank Staggers Jr., MD
Director, Berkeley Addiction Treatment Services Center

The Center for Wellness and Achievement in Education (CWAE) is dedicated to promoting positive individual and societal transformation by helping children and adults unfold their full social, emotional, and cognitive capacity.

Neuropsychological research over the last 40 years indicates that wellness, particularly healthy brain development, is foundational to realizing individual potential. If one’s mind and body are healthy, then self-awareness, social awareness, behavior, mental clarity, and performance are enhanced.

Toward this end, CWAE provides programs that support mind-body integration, including meditation, yoga, exercise, nutrition, and sleep education.

Our flagship program is Quiet Time, a meditation-based stress reduction and wellness program that enhances the healthy development of students, teachers, and administrators in schools. Results to date include:

  • Improved school-wide GPA
  • Increased attendance
  • Decreased suspensions and school violence
  • Reduced student anxiety and psychological distress
  • Increased self-esteem
  • Higher standardized test scores
  • Decreased burnout and stress in teachers and administrators
  • Increased emotional intelligence
  • Increased coping ability in adults

CWAE Veterans
Programs to

After successfully piloting meditation-based stress management programs...

- Colonel (Ret.) Brian M. Rees, M.D., M.P.H., Medical Corps, US Army Reserve,
Advisor, CWAE Veterans Program

CWAE Receives
National Public
Health Award

for Quiet Time program

“In recognition of dedicated service and outstanding accomplishments in the field of community-based public health.”

"The Quiet Time Program is the most effective program that I have come across in 40 years for addressing the problems of stress and violence in schools."

- James S. Dierke, 2008 NASSP Middle School Principal of the Year

Play Video

"Every once in a while, when visiting a successful school, you see something that makes your jaw drop, something so extraordinary, you have to stop and make sure what you saw is actually what it appears to be."

- David Markus, Editorial Director, Edutopia

Play Video

"Quite simply, Quiet Time should be in every school."

- Dr. Carlos Garcia, Superintendent, San Francisco Unified School District, 2007-2012

"I had visited that school ten years ago, and it was totally out of control. I went over recently and the students were happy, the teachers were happy, the administrators were happy..."

- Patricia Gray, Ph.D., Asst. Superintendent, San Francisco Unified School District

"It helps me focus on my schoolwork instead of my social life."

- YH, 7th grade student