Good News: Care for kids that WORKS

Shared by Faith D’Urbano+

As we attempt to support the ministry of justice, peace and love, accomplished through the ministries of all, we give feet to the Word active among us, the Good News, which is central to the mission of church.

We have a chance to hear of the peace, love and justice personified in the inner city efforts of three men. The founders of Holistic Life Foundation (HLF) will come to Lancaster to talk about what I consider a phenomenal, spirit-led program that fosters the all-important “respect (for) the dignity of every human being.”

Even if you can’t attend the gathering at F&M, the HLF approach that is described in their video documentary may resonate, lending ideas for other settings, even perhaps our own.

F&M’s Common Hour*, Thurs., Feb. 16, 11:30 am.
Speakers: Ali Smith, Atman Smith, and Andres Gonzalez – Founders, Holistic Life Foundation
Franklin and Marshall College, Mayser Gym

The Holistic Life Foundation is a Baltimore-based nonprofit organization dedicated to developing high-quality evidence-based programs and curriculum that nurture wellness of children and adults in underserved communities.

Founded in 2001, HLF imparts to the children commitment to learning, community, and stewardship of the environment. It provides services at 14 Baltimore public schools, pre-k through fifth, middle school and high school. The program engages a comprehensive approach and reciprocal learning process which empowers the students themselves to become program facilitators by helping others through yoga, mindfulness, and self-care.

At Robert W. Coleman Elementary, HLF has helped to implement a school-wide initiative called the Mindful Moment. Instead of punishing disruptive kids or sending them to the principal’s office, the students go to the Mindful Moment Room instead. There the children are encouraged to sit in the room and go through practices like breathing or meditation, helping them calm down and re-center. Since instituting the practice, the school has had zero suspensions.

The founders have dedicated their lives to bringing the benefits of mindfulness and meditation to the inner-city neighborhood in Baltimore where two of the founders were born and raised.

Click here to see a 22 min. documentary of Holistic Life Foundation’s work.
* Common Hour: Throughout the academic year, F&M’s entire college community collects around varied and enriching topics each Thursday morning at 11:30. The public is invited to join them. All attendees are welcome to complimentary pizza and fruit prior to these events in Mayser Gym. (Mayser Gym is adjacent to F&M’s College Ave athletic track).

A schedule of future topics and online archived videos of Common Hour events can be found at


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