Learning to breathe

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Schools in Rockland County, N.Y. first started daily mindfulness lessons several years ago. Teachers noticed it was a way to combat distractions arising from peer pressure, gadgets, online social networks and for some, family stress. In May of this year, the U.S. Department of Education awarded eight districts in Rockland County with funding to train even more school staff, raising the profile of teaching mindfulness alongside academic disciplines.

Evan Seidel is a social worker and mindfulness instructor at River View High School in Nyack, New York. River View is an alternative high school for students with social emotional and learning challenges but Seidel says he thinks this technique would be effective for all teenagers.

ARW associate producer Suzanne Pekow interviewed Seidel for this week’s podcast.