We believe mindfulness is the essential foundation for students’ acquisition and mastery of social and emotional skills and conflict resolution tools.
Peace of Mind encourages and supports the comprehensive integration of effective mindfulness-based social and emotional learning in elementary and middle schools in Washington DC and nationwide to improve student well-being and create kinder, more inclusive school climates.
Peace of Mind develops, produces and shares The Peace of Mind Program, including curricula, storybooks, and resources that reflect our more than a decade of experience teaching secular mindfulness-based SEL to students in public school classrooms.
Peace of Mind supports educators teaching mindfulness-based SEL in DC and beyond through in-person training, online resources and the Peace of Mind Community of Practice gatherings. We also share our experience and support through speaking engagements, articles, and social media.
The Peace of Mind Program
Home School: The Peace of Mind Program has been developed since 2003 at Lafayette Elementary School in Washington D.C. by Peace of Mind founder and full-time Peace Teacher Linda Ryden, and continues to be taught to 900 children a week by Linda and Peace of Mind’s early childhood curriculum author Jillian Diesner. Linda and Jillian’s classrooms serve as laboratories to develop and refine new ideas and are open for educators who would like to observe.
Curriculum: We published The Peace of Mind Curriculum Series in 2016 and 2017, including lessons developed with students over a decade, to address the needs of Early Childhood, Grades 1-2, Grade 3, Grades 4&5, and Middle School. Taught by classroom teachers, counselors and other educators, Peace of Mind gives students the tools to notice and manage their emotions, practice kindness and empathy, understand their brains, build healthy relationships and solve conflicts peacefully. Older children learn to apply their skills to notice and address social justice issues including discrimination, bias and racism. Our storybook series and classroom resources support the program.
Expansion: To learn how the curriculum works in diverse school environments, we launched four official pilot programs reaching over 370 public students and their teachers at Horace Mann Elementary (2016-2018), West Education Campus, Orr Elementary School and Ross Elementary School (2017-2018) in Washington DC. Since the successful resolution of the pilot programs, teachers, social workers, counselors and parents in 40 states and overseas have invested in Peace of Mind for their students, reflecting a growing recognition of the power of this work.
Support: We provide in-person and online teacher training and hold Conferences and Community of Practice gatherings where educators and parents gather to connect, ask questions and share insights.
Publishing: We contract with the respected Tilbury House Publishers to publish our Peace of Mind Storybooks. Peace of Mind continues to self-publish our curricula, resources and our first book, Rosie’s Brain.
“Linda Ryden is an amazing author, teacher and overall person. Her approach to mindfulness makes it achievable for all, and I consider her an expert in the field of social emotional learning and mindfulness. Her books serve as a wonderful resource for parents, teachers, and students.”
Wanda H. Legrand, Ed.D, Deputy Chancellor, Social Emotional Academic Development, District of Columbia Public Schools
The Peace of Mind Curriculum works. An April 2016 survey of students and faculty at Lafayette E.S. by Minds Inc. found that:
- 95% of teachers and 90% of 4th and 5th graders reported Peace of Mind Class helps students get along better with and be kinder to others.
- 97% of 4th and 5th graders reported Peace of Mind Class has been helpful to them inside and outside the classroom.
- 75% of teachers reported Peace of Mind Class helps students be more ready to learn in the classroom.
Pre/post impact surveys of teachers, students and parents at Lafayette and each of our pilot schools were completed in early June 2018. Teacher data indicates that educators are very enthusiastic about the usefulness of the PoM program to themselves and their students, particularly relative to other SEL criteria. 100% of teachers reported they were very likely to use PoM the following year. The vast majority of students found the skills they learned in PoM helped them “a lot” or “a whole lot” and reported using the skills they learned outside of PoM class.
For a look at the research supporting the Peace of Mind approach, please visit https://teachpeaceofmind.org/research/.
- Mindfulness in Conflict Resolution Mindful Schools | October 15, 2018
- My students call me the ‘Peace Teacher.’ The Washington Post | March 9, 2018
- DC Students Learn the Art of Mindfulness WUSA 9 | March 14, 2018
- A Joyful Mind – a film featuring Peace of Mind by Open Mind Media & Tergar International October 2016
For more, please visit https://teachpeaceofmind.org/press/
The Peace of Mind team includes Founder and Peace Teacher Linda Ryden, Executive Director Cheryl Dodwell, and many skilled, dedicated volunteers and contractors; Board of Directors: Dr. Subrat Biswal, Dr. Elizabeth Hoffman, Darrel Jodrey, Chapin Springer, Jackie Snowden, and Liz Whisnant. Board of Advisors: Rie Odsbjerg Werner, Harriet Sanford, Avideh Shashaani, Dave Trachtenberg and Janine Rudder.