The Compassionate Schools Project is the most comprehensive study ever undertaken of a 21st century health and wellness curriculum in an elementary or secondary school setting. Facilitating the integrated development of mind and body, the project interweaves support in academic achievement, mental fitness, health, and compassionate character. The research aims to have a major impact on children’s education nationwide in terms of academic performance, physical education, character development, and child health policies due to its extraordinary scale of 45 schools and 20,000 children over the project’s seven years.
Educating the whole child for self-awareness and self-understanding, the curriculum integrates mindfulness for stress management and self-control; contemplative movements, postures and breathing for physical awareness and agility; nutritional knowledge for healthy eating; and social and emotional skills for effective interpersonal relationships. Elementary school students will learn to cultivate focus, resilience, empathy, connection, and wellbeing as the basis for academic and personal success.
The structure and size of the project will yield an unprecedented breadth and depth of data on the dynamics and effects of such an educational approach. With public elementary schools in Louisville, Kentucky as its proving ground in the 28th largest school district in the United States, 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.Compassionate Schools Project Website