OSI-Baltimore grantee Holistic Life Foundation (HLF) has been getting quite a bit of attention recently, with articles featuring its afterschool program Holistic Me appearing on website like Upworthy, Vibe, GOOD Magazine, Woman’s Day, and Bustle.
Started by HLF co-founders, brothers Ali and Atman Smith, with help from long-time friend Andrés Gonzalez, Holistic Me was developed as a way to introduce Baltimore City students to the concepts of yoga, mindfulness, meditation, centering and breath work, giving them tools for things like peaceful conflict resolution, improved focus and concentration, greater control and awareness of thoughts and emotions, improved self-regulation, anger management and stress reduction.
Since its inception in 2002, Holistic Me has been implemented in several Baltimore City schools and school programs, including Windsor Hill Elementary School and the Druid Hill YMCA. The program is currently being facilitated at Robert W. Coleman Elementary School. The program serves 120 students from pre-K through 5th grade. The program also has fitness and sports components, as well as an environmental education program. According to the website, students also receive tutoring and homework assistance in core classes like math, language arts and science.