The Peace of Mind Program

Peace Class teaches our children how to be part of a community that is kind, cooperative, intelligent and emotionally healthy.Janet Zwick, former 3rd grade teacher and parent at Lafayette Elementary School 

I love the fact that I can combine this curriculum seamlessly with Responsive Classroom and yoga classes we already teach. –  Kindergarten Teacher at a college preparatory independent school.


Peace of Mind is an innovative program for Early Childhood through Fifth Grade that integrates mindfulness practice with lessons on conflict resolution and kindness and empathy.  Peace of Mind recognizes mindfulness as essential to students’ acquisition and mastery of social and emotional skills and conflict resolution tools.

The Peace of Mind Curriculum has been developed by teachers for teachers working with students in elementary school classrooms for over 14 years.  Peace of Mind is well supported by current research.

Peace of Mind teaches students how to: calm themselves, focus their attention, empathize with others, and resolve conflicts peacefully.

The goal of the Peace of Mind curriculum is to create a school culture of kindness and inclusion.

Peace of Mind is different from other Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) and Conflict Resolution (CR) curricula in that mindfulness practice is the foundation for every lesson in the Peace of Mind curriculum series.   Students learn to value and use mindfulness as the foundation for healthy relationships with themselves and others, and as a first step to the peaceful resolution of conflicts.

Curriculum developer Linda Ryden’s work and the Peace of Mind program have been recognized in the Washington Post, the Huffington Post, and on CBS, ABC and Fox5, and in the recently released film A Joyful Mind.  

Where is Peace of Mind being used? 

Home School: Over the last decade, teacher and curriculum author Linda Ryden and school counselor Jillian Diesner have actively developed the Peace of Mind Curriculum Series with their students at Lafayette Elementary School, the largest public elementary school in Washington DC.   

DCPS Chancellor Antwan Wilson called the Peace of Mind program at Lafayette E.S. “one of my favorite examples of SEL in DCPS.”    Read the full text of his inspiring letter here!

DCPS Pilot Schools: Horace Mann Elementary School in Washington D.C., under the inspired leadership of Principal Liz Whisnant and Peace Teacher Courtney Hundley,  successfully piloted the Peace of Mind program with their 1st, 2nd and 3rd graders in the 2016-2017 school year.  Mann continues to use Peace of Mind with all grades.

Our DCPS pilot schools for the 2017-2018 school year include Orr Elementary School, West Education Campus, and Ross Elementary School.   Pilot schools offer us the opportunity to learn together through surveys, reflection, and ongoing informal communication.

Peace of Mind Schools: The Peace of Mind Curriculum and the Peace of Mind Storybooks are being used in a growing number of public and independent schools in the Washington DC area, across the country and internationally. If you are interested in becoming a Peace of Mind school, please let us know!

The Peace of Mind Curriculum Series

This is an extraordinary curriculum, at once practical and visionary. The lessons are thoughtfully and meticulously scaffolded as the children are guided step-by-step into an understanding of how their brains work, how to interact with the world with kindness, and how to master themselves. In this age of anxiety, what could be more important or valuable than to teach children at an early age how to interpret and navigate their big emotions, calm themselves, and by extension, each other? A must read for early education teachers everywhere.    – Val C., Early Childhood Educator,  June 2017

The Peace of Mind Curriculum Series includes three volumes addressing the needs of Early Childhood, Grades 1-2 and Grades 3-5.  The Core Curricula for Grades 1-2 and 3-5 were published in 2016; the Core Curriculum for Early Childhood in 2017 after over a decade of in-classroom development.

More about The Peace of Mind Curriculum

Core Curriculum for Early Childhood: 32 step-by-step, weekly lessons integrating mindfulness and social and emotional learning lessons for the youngest students. Many lessons include scripts for Brainy, the Peace of Mind hand puppet.

Core Curriculum for Early Childhood

Core Curriculum for Grades 1 and 2: 32 step-by-step, weekly lessons integrating mindfulness, SEL and conflict resolution practices for younger students, including worksheets, reproducible handouts, teacher guidance.

Core Curriculum for Grades 1 and 2

Core Curriculum for Grades 3, 4 and 5: 32 step-by-step, weekly lessons integrating mindfulness, SEL and conflict resolution practices for older students, including original skits and role plays to support lesson themes, along with reproducible handouts and teacher guidance.

Core Curriculum for Grades 3, 4 and 5

PEACE OF MIND storybooks and puppets 

Peace of Mind Storybooks

rosies-brain-450pxCurriculum author Linda Ryden wrote Rosie’s Brain, the first book in the Peace of Mind Storybook Seriesto introduce elementary school students to mindfulness skills and the parts of the brain that help us manage anger and calm down: the amygdala, hippocampus, and prefrontal cortex.

Henry’s is Kind, the second book in the series, introduces students to the mindfulness practice of Heartfulness and the value of kindness in a fun and engaging way.   Sharon Salzberg, author of Real Happiness and Real Love, calls Henry is Kind “bright, fun and engaging.”

Both of these storybooks are available here, and support lessons taught in the Peace of Mind Core Curriculum Series. 

Brainy the Puppet

Brainy the Hand PuppetBrainy is a handcrafted puppet specifically designed by Jillian Diesner for Peace of Mind to teach basic brain science. Each puppet is individually created using a knitted mitten with snap-in eyes, pompoms, and other craft materials added to mark the hippocampus, prefrontal cortex, and amygdala. Brainy arrives in a drawstring cloth bag for convenient storage. Each Brainy is an original creation and entertaining educational toy! Brainy is used extensively in the Peace of Mind Core Curriculum for Early Childhood and is an excellent teaching companion for Brain Science lessons in the Peace of Mind Core Curricula for Grades 1-2 and Grades 3-5.   Not intended for children under 3.

Title One School?  Grants are available from Fund for the Future of Our Children to support purchases of Peace of Mind Curricula and related materials.  For more information, please click here.

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