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How one partnership is giving students skills for living better

2015 November 12
by HISD Communications

Community partnerships are vital to the success of any school district — and one of the partnerships I’m proudest of is the one we formed with the Sonima Foundation two years ago. Through it, about 25,000 students in 51 of our schools now participate in yoga-style classes that involve stretching exercises, relaxation techniques, and lessons about nutrition.

As a result of this program, participating principals have already been reporting positive changes on their campuses, including higher attendance, lower suspensions, fewer students dropping out, and more students earning their diplomas.

The curriculum is designed to minimize stress, reduce bullying and violence, and improve academic performance, but a side benefit is that students also build skills that they can use all their lives — such as self-control and conflict resolution —to overcome whatever obstacles they might encounter.

As a district, our goal is to reach about 97 percent (or 210,000) of our students with this program by the 2018–2019 school year. I am thrilled with the preliminary results of this partnership and look forward to seeing how it will continue to transform our students’ lives.

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