Meditation Room Designed for an Oklahoma City Elementary School

REES_Edgemere_Elementary_Meditation

Edgemere Elementary School was the perfect candidate for Oklahoma City Public Schools’ Partners in Action program. The program connects schools with community partners to compete needed projects. The program brought Axiom Core Energy Services, Manhattan Construction, Mercy's Planning, Design and Construction team and REES together to transform an underutilized classroom at Edgemere into a meditation room to improve student engagement and enrollment. Before and after photos below.

In 2014, Edgemere Elementary was repositioned as Oklahoma City’s first community school. The new community school model sought to maximize student learning by providing enrichment opportunities that extend far beyond the classroom. This included community-sponsored after-school programs focused on art and sports. But in recent years, Edgemere has experienced low enrollment and neared closing. So, Partners in Action posted this project to improve student engagement and enrollment.

Axiom Core Energy Services, Manhattan Construction, Mercy's Planning, Design and Construction team and REES collaborated to ensure the project would be completed before students return to school. We removed muted flooring and installed new carpeting with a brighter palette. Walls were painted with a calming shade of blue to promote tranquility. New ceiling panels and an improved lighting system were also included in the redesign. Natural light now communicates more effectively with the space.

The meditation room will serve as a space for relaxation for students in the community school. It will also be an alternative to traditional disciplinary actions such as detention or in-school suspension. The goal is to teach students how to use meditation to cope with challenging situations and handle conflicts they will face in life. Special education teacher Joanna Eldridge began teaching meditation class during the 2016-2017 school year and will lead efforts in the new meditation room.

Ali Smith cofounded a meditation program that implements similar meditation rooms in Baltimore schools and can speak on its success. “You see kids dealing with a lot of anger and frustration that they were taking out on their peers physically, and now they’re able to manage that anger,” Ali says in a U.S. News Article. “They can feel anger rising, and they say, ‘OK, this is what anger feels like, and I can choose to express that anger or to reenter myself and get back to that place of inner peace and calm. Because once they learn it, that’s something no one can ever take away from them.”

We believe the same positive results from Baltimore’s implementation of the meditation rooms will be experienced in Oklahoma City’s Edgemere Elementary School. REES is honored to be a part of a project bringing positive change to a local school.

This project would not be possible without all of the community parters including Mercy Communities PD&C, Manhattan Construction, Axiom Core Energy Services, Oklahoma Energy Electrical Supply Company, Key Lighting, Green Country Interiors, Custom Flooring, FER Waste Services and Fabrics Unlimited.