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Peace of Mind

Equipping kids to face challenges in their lives and the world with kindness, compassion & courage.

Our children are facing an unprecedented mental health crisis. Peace of Mind’s innovative response is to equip children with life-changing and life-saving mindfulness skills and brain science understanding, the critical, missing foundation for managing emotions, building healthy relationships and solving conflicts peacefully. Our program is affordable, accessible and effective.


Information on this page is provided by the innovator and has not been evaluated by HundrED.

Web presence






Target group
May 2024
Most social-emotional programs consist of one-off assemblies, bulletin board displays, or character programs that focus on a trait of the month. If these programs worked, we’d be living in a different world. We envision all schools doing sustained, intensive work to support student well-being, foster caring relationships and create kind, inclusive communities where children and teachers thrive.

About the innovation

Why did you create this innovation?

Peace of Mind grew out of an attempt to change a school from the inside. In the aftermath of 9/11, founder Linda Ryden saw that a critical piece was missing from the conflict resolution classes she was teaching her students. She built a program to equip students to manage emotions, practice kindness and compassion, and stand up for their beliefs. We are changing the world one school at a time.

What does your innovation look like in practice?

The growing focus on mindfulness and social emotional learning in schools is important and overdue. However, in many cases we are teaching these skills for the wrong reasons. Kids need skills not just to calm down but to manage emotions, connect with others, and become peacemakers. And we cannot help children solve conflicts peacefully unless we equip them and their teachers with mindfulness skills, an understanding of brain science, and a greater sense of the far-from-level playing field. While mindfulness practice has enormous benefits for children's personal well being, it is also a powerful tool to help recognize and reckon with systemic injustice in schools and communities. Metacognition skills help students investigate their own thoughts in order to uncover, examine and face implicit bias with compassion and curiosity, not shame and blame. By engaging students as leaders and helping them develop personal agency, we transform their lives and their schools.

How has it been spreading?

Instead of delivering the program ourselves in schools, we provide effective, relevant curriculum and training to the educators who know their own students best. We keep our curriculum and training accessible and affordable, especially for under-resourced communities. We have grown largely through word-of-mouth among educators. Our partnership with google ads for nonprofits has helped other educators find us online. Over the next two years we will expand partnerships with 20+ DC-area schools and develop demonstration classrooms to inspire stakeholders, guide educators and build partnerships to double the number of educators reached nationwide. Our new digital platform, PoMKids, makes programming available to children, in and out of school, reducing barriers of cost and accessibility.

If I want to try it, what should I do?

Visit website: review Curriculum page, sample lessons and videos. Purchase curriculum bundle to meet your needs. Take self-paced online training for new PoM teachers. Read the informative “getting started” guidance in the curriculum; practice teaching the first lesson. Teach! Get ongoing support through PoM’s conference, summer institute, in-person training and coaching. Join FB group and YouTube.

Implementation steps

Discernment Meeting on Implementing the PoM Program in Schools, Aftercare, and Summer Settings
Administrators, Teachers, and Counselors meet with Peace of Mind (PoM) in person or virtually to review school’s needs and goals. Together, consider the PoM Theory of Change and discuss conditions for success. Decide on implementation model best aligned with school needs and capacity: who will teach, how often, what grades or programs. Designate dedicated time in the schedule for Peace of Mind Class. Designate PoM Liaison within school who will catalyze implementation. Plan first training.
Select and Facilitate Appropriate PoM PreK-Grade 8 Curricula, Materials and Training
Review cost-planning worksheet with PoM staff. Work with PoM to order Curricula, Storybooks, Classroom Resources that will support implementation. Consider and schedule training options (in person, online, leadership team) to deepen understanding of philosophy, research, core practices, and desired outcomes. Integrate new learning with current SEL practice. Review curriculum structure and model practice teaching. Offer experiential mindfulness practice and outreach to broader community.
Commit to Exploring Personal Mindfulness Practice
PofM supports educators in developing or deepening their own mindfulness practice as tools for managing stress and modeling what they are teaching. Mindfulness for Educators courses and Community of Practice events complement online resources. PofM consults with school/program teams on ways to integrate mindfulness practice in meeting and classroom structures.
Teach the Peace of Mind Curriculum
Honor a regular 20-45 minute time for Peace of Mind Class. Sequence matters. For best outcomes, follow the lesson order as presented. Adapt the scripts to fit your own voice and the needs of your class. Model what you are teaching, and teach with integrity. Integrate lesson components throughout the week. Seek support when needed, including coaching sessions at classroom and leader level. Engage with PoM teaching community through online forums and in person and virtual gatherings.
Evaluate, Review Impact, and Plan Forward
Meet with PoM team for mid and end of year review. Offer pre and post surveys to teachers, school leaders/program directors and students, substituting focus groups for younger children. Analyze anecdotal and quantitative results for impact evidence and needs.
Develop plans for more comprehensive whole school integration in Year Two.

Spread of the innovation

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