It is with great excitement that we write to tell you of the Karuna School’s decision to enter into a pilot two-year partnership with the Cambridge School of Weston (CSW). At the invitation of CSW’s Head of School, Jane Moulding, Karuna School will be a “school within a school” at CSW. What does this mean? It means that the Karuna School will be housed at CSW and that our co-founder Lisa Prajna Hallstrom will develop and offer Karuna School courses to CSW students, courses that will help provide CSW graduates with the skills they will need to lead a balanced, compassionate life while making their unique contribution to a better world.
This spring Prajna will offer a course called .b [dot-be, as in Stop, Breathe and Be], an innovative, research-based course that teaches mindfulness as a life-skill for students to use both in and out of the classroom. Mindfulness involves learning to direct attention to experience as it unfolds moment by moment, with open-minded curiosity and acceptance. Research is now showing that practicing mindfulness can contribute to an increase in young adults’ self-esteem, focus, and emotion regulation.
Next fall when our partnership officially begins, Prajna will teach .b more broadly as well as co-teach a course on social ethics and a course on the history of non-violent movements. But this is only the beginning! Over the next two years, CSW and Karuna will work together to create more classes in peace and equity studies, a local to global service program, and life skills trainings such as mediation, non-violent communication, and compassion training.
If things develop as we hope, the Karuna School/CSW partnership will evolve to include global service trips to India and South Africa, courses in Mindful Parenting, faculty trainings, and the development of a certificate granted to students who choose to fulfill a more rigorous Karuna School course requirement. So, students passionate about peace and equity studies, social emotional learning and service work could graduate with both a CSW degree and a certificate from the Karuna School!
We were always very clear that an idea like a high school for peace could never die. We knew that the Karuna School would live on like a seed in each of us and blossom in myriad ways that we could never have imagined. But when we let go of the idea of building a five-year high school from the ground up, we never imagined that the Karuna School would have a new life as part of an already existing independent school, nor one as compatible as CSW. As Prajna said in the press release that was just issued by CSW, “The Karuna School Board of Directors and I could not be more excited about this partnership. CSW is the perfect school to embrace our inner and outer peace curriculum. It already has a standing commitment to helping its students develop their emotional intelligence, their leadership skills, and their vision of what an equitable world could and should look like. We feel we can seamlessly share our curricular resources with an already outstanding school.”
Our vision of young people educated by the Karuna School leaving for college as self-aware, confident, and compassionate individuals, ready to share their gifts with the world, is to be realized! We thank you again for all of your love and support. We are certain that your faith in the vision of an education that is devoted to both the mind and the heart has helped open this new door.
We hope you will enjoy our newly updated website, www.karunaschool.org.
With love and gratitude,