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Elementary School Pilot Program Replaces Detention With Yoga

By Joel Hillan

DENVER (CBS4) - A special grant from Denver Public Schools has allowed Doull Elementary to pilot a program where they trade out detention for Yoga.

"I teach children the practice of yoga and meditation," said Trinidad Heffron.

Trinidad Heffron (credit: CBS)

For Miss Triny, as the kids call her, and for the school, this is about reevaluating the way they discipline, not taking it easy on the kids.

"Yoga and meditation, they're not necessarily an easy practice. I would say it's challenging, but useful," said Heffron.

"What's more important? Punishing kids for a mistake they made or teaching them some skills that they can actually use in life to not make the same mistakes again," said school psychologist Carly Graeber.

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Skills that transcend the classroom.

"You can do yoga and you can practice yoga anywhere, any time and maybe when they are riding a bike, they can take deep breath and go, 'Oh, I'm using my yoga breath," said Heffron.

"Math and reading and science and social studies are all so important to us here, but also we're really in the business of teaching kids social and emotional skills that they can use for their lives, so how to solve problems, how to deal with complicated feelings and things like that," said Graeber.

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And so every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at 3 p.m. you'll find the kids at detention, practicing mindfulness and hopefully learning how to stay out of trouble.

Joel Hillan anchors CBS4 This Morning on weekends as well as reports stories for CBS4 News at 5 and 6 p.m. Follow Joel on Twitter @joelhillan.

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