OAKLAND — Math tests, soccer matches, the cafeteria bully. Grammar diagrams, global warming, dad losing his job. Now add this to some 8-year-olds' schedules: a second- period class on dealing with stress.
Before graduating another generation of workaholic, road-raged adults, a number of California schools are intervening as early as kindergarten, reworking adult relaxation techniques for little ones.
Oren Sofer is one of the instructors hired to deliver this new curriculum. On Wednesday, he navigated his way through the playground at Bridges Academy in east Oakland, arrived at Portable Classroom H and pushed open the door.
"Hi, Mr. Ooooooo," the third-graders chimed, then began chanting, "mind-ful-ness, mind-ful-ness."
Sofer asked the students to show him their mindful bodies. As the students quieted down, he held up a Tibetan singing bowl.
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