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MCSD wins grant; elementary school yoga program to expand

March 25, 2015

The Monticello Central School District is slated to receive a $500 grant from Stewart’s Holiday Match to help expand the yoga program that is currently offered to select students at Emma C. Chase and George L. Cooke elementary schools.

Last year, the district received $250 from Stewart’s, which funded six 30 minute yoga sessions for approximately 100 students at Chase and Cooke schools. The new grant money will allow the district to offer the program to additional as an afterschool program built in with Club Rec. at Rutherford Elementary School and Emma C. Chase Elementary School.

According to feedback from participating students, they enjoyed the yoga sessions and were engaged while learning the poses, breathing techniques and positive affirmations. Students also reported that they felt a sense of accomplishment at mastering the yoga techniques. It was observed by instructors and staff that students appeared more alert and motivated to learn after participating in a brief yoga session.

Studies have shown that yoga helps build confidence, positive attitudes, discipline and concentration in children. Studies also show that yoga helps reduce aggression and hyperactivity in children with special needs. It also enhances physical flexibility, balance and coordination, and strengthens the mind-body connection.

Every Person Influences Children (EPIC) Coordinator Mrs. Jane Sorensen was a guiding force in piloting these yoga sessions in the school district.

 “I introduced the first children’s yoga class two years ago at a Common Core workshop,” she said. “After seeing how well students benefited from just one class, I knew I wanted to help implement this type of program in our schools.”
Mrs. Sorensen said that yoga postures can be integrated into a child’s daily routine to help with their coordination, concentration, flexibility and strength.

“Yoga skills are life skills that a child can incorporate into their adult years,” she said. “Since it requires little or no equipment, students can practice their breathing and relaxation techniques virtually anywhere: at home, in school, at their desk, in a car or outside.”

Details about the after school program will be announced in the coming months. To learn more about the current yoga sessions offered at Chase and Rutherford Elementary, click here.