What is the Compassionate Schools Project?

The Compassionate Schools Project is the most comprehensive study ever undertaken of a 21st century health and wellness curriculum. The research aims to have major impact on the K-12 education- including academic performance, physical education, character development, and child health policies- due to its scale of 50 schools and 20,000 children over the project's six year.

Educating the whole child for self-awareness, the curriculum includes mindfulness for stress management and self-control; contemplative movements and postures for physical awareness and agility; nutrition knowledge for healthy eating; and social and emotional skills for effective interpersonal relationships. Elementary-aged students learn to cultivate focus, resilience, empathy, connection, and well-being for academic and personal success. The lessons integrate these capabilities within a contemplative and compassionate framework based on advancements in the understanding of brain function and the body, child and family health, and academic and social functioning.

The structure and size of the project will yield an unprecedented breadth and depth of data on the dynamics and effects of this educational approach. With public schools in Louisville, Kentucky as its proving ground, the findings will be applicable nationwide. The Compassionate Schools Project is a partnership between the University of Virginia and the Jefferson County Public Schools with support from Louisville Metro Government and financial support from philanthropic giving.

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