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LA Charter Cuts Suspensions with Quiet Time

by Bibi Tran on May 12, 2014

A new mini documentary, hosted by Arrested Development television star, Judy Greer, features an up-close look at how Transcendental Meditation (TM) is helping to lower stress, improve grades, and create a positive and supportive learning environment for students, faculty and parents at Aspire Ollin Preparatory Academy. Based in Los Angeles, Aspire Ollin is a member of the Aspire Network, a national system of high-performing preparatory schools. Since partnering with the Foundation in 2012, Aspire Ollin has brought Quiet Time to more than 500 of its students and faculty.

Victor, a student diagnosed with autism at the age of 3, was one of the first students to learn Transcendental Meditation. He reported, “I’m calmer, and I’m not in a bad mood. Every child who has some troubles or is feeling down should try this.”

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Quiet Time at Aspire Ollin Preparatory Academy

Victor’s mother also noticed a big difference: “Before starting meditation, Victor would lock himself in his room for too long. He wouldn’t really talk to us. He would get easily frustrated for not being able to say what he was feeling, ” she says. “Once meditation began, he started to get along with us. He is more peaceful and more relaxed. I have seen a lot of changes in him since he started meditating.”

Aspire students also reported a reduction in stress around their schoolwork with TM practice. A classmate of Victor’s says, ”There were days before when I felt a lot of anxiety and worry. I would get that way during biology or algebra—but after TM I felt my worry go away. Transcendental Meditation takes tension out of you and feels very calming. This experience for me has seriously, honestly, been life-changing. I don’t have to live as much with anxiety anymore. I know how to control it now and it’s more calmed out with TM.”

Moving forward, the school plans to expand the Quiet Time Program to its 12th grade, bringing enrollment up to 100% within the next three years.

“Ultimately, what I’d like is for every student to have the opportunity to meditate. TM is a life-tool; it’s going to be another thing they have in their backpack,” says Aspire school principal, Jennifer Garcia.

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