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Okmulgee school introduces Calm app as a way to teach students meditation

Posted at 5:13 PM, Aug 16, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-16 18:13:37-04

OKMULGEE, Okla. — Glenda Merkley leads her students at Stonebridge Academy through breathing exercises every day.

She just downloaded the Calm app as a new tool, now that it's being offered to teachers for free.

"Meditation is not some kind of religious experience, it just teaches you to think about what you're thinking and to focus on your breathing. I think both of those things are important for students to know how to do," Merkley said.

The kindergarten through second grade teacher said just a few minutes of breathing after an activity like lunch can make all the difference in a student's ability to learn within the day.

"Before, they're really wound up and excited and ready to go, which is great. But they need that few minutes to refocus and reset, and when they have the chance to refocus and reset then their afternoon is a lot more productive," Merkley said.

The principal at this private school supports using Calm. The phone app that normally costs $60 is being offered to K - 12 classrooms with the goal of adding periods of quiet.

"If they can't feel good about themselves and feel good about where they are and feel safe and happy where they are they're not going to learn. It doesn't matter how hard you try. If they're not ready to learn they're not going to learn," Sarah Alexander said.

Staff at Stonebridge hope these exercises have a long-term benefit for their students.

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