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Yoga promotes social and emotional learning in New Jersey classrooms

Monday, January 16, 2017

Social and Emotional Learning (SEL), and the capacity to regulate emotions is critical for childhood development. Yet, skills such as self-awareness and self-management often take a back seat to math and language skills in the public school setting. Danielle Kutcher, 5th Grade Teacher at Woodland Elementary in Monroe Township (NJ), always felt like a critical piece of the puzzle to educate the whole child was missing. Four years ago, she attended a Yoga 4 Classrooms training which completely changed her whole philosophy on educating children. "It was that powerful," Danielle shared recently with New Jersey Monthly magazine who recently interviewed her for an article on mindful classrooms. 

Once Danielle started implementing what she learned from the Yoga 4 Classrooms program, she immediately saw positive changes in her students. "I saw changes in their self-perception; they were feeling better about themselves... and with this change came a readiness to learn." ....

“Parents are completely surprised that we have programs like this,” says Suleski, referring to Yoga 4 Classrooms. “And they are right…. We’re fortunate here in Millstone that we support this type of thing.”...

In Monroe Township, Kutcher says the feedback from parents has been gratifying. She recalls a class mom who pulled her aside during a school fundraiser. “She had tears streaming down her face and said, ‘I’m not quite sure what this program you’re doing is about, but I want to thank you.’ And she hugged me. I got chills. I asked what was going on. She said, ‘I always had to battle my son to do homework, but now I watch him get up from the table, take a balloon breath, stand in mountain pose for a moment or two, and then he goes right back.’ She said, ‘I started to do it too. I started to take these breaths at work and do methods at my desk, and now my son feels like a rock star, because he’s teaching mom.’”

Whatever the age, the lessons are invaluable, says Kutcher. “This is going to carry them through their lifetimes.”

Read the full article, "Mindful Classrooms: Teaching Kids to Cope, One Breath at a Time", published in New Jersey Monthly, January, 2017.




5th grade teacher Danielle Kutcher guides her students into mindful moments throughout the day to assist with stress management, learning readiness. Photo permission courtesy of NJ Monthly Magazine. 


Interested in bringing yoga and mindfulness to your school? Contact us to learn more.

Related Articles:

Inner City School Principal Shares Results of School-Wide Implementation of Yoga 4 Classrooms | VIDEO
Scientific Evidence for Yoga & Mindfulness in Schools : How & Why Does it Work?
The Benefits of Meditation for Children | Forbes article
Des Moines School District Reduces Punitive Actions
Yoga for School Kids - YogaGlo features benefits of Yoga 4 Classrooms





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Yoga for School Kids - Yogaglo features Yoga 4 Classrooms

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

As more schools around the country start adding yoga and mindfulness practices to their curricula, there is also a growing stream of positive media attention. Most recently, the popular Yogaglo Blog published an article titled, Yoga for School Kids, written by Alice Walton. Alice is also responsible for recently published Forbes article which touted the scientific benefits of of meditation for children's brains and behavior, a notable read.  

Y4C founder and CEO, Lisa Flynn, first met Alice at the first annual Yoga in the Schools Symposium held at Kripalu back in 2014. As a health and science writer, she was inspired to learn more about the tremendous impact yoga and mindfulness integration at school can have on the health and performance of schoolchildren and educators, as well as on school climate. Lisa had been following her writing since that time and was thrilled to hear from Alice a couple of months ago as she was gathering content for these articles. Her initial question: How does yoga and meditation in school support social and emotional growth and kindness? As it ends up, their communications focused on the seemingly endless trickle-down effects that regular yoga and meditation practices can have on individual students, educators and the school culture as a whole:

“It goes without saying that emotionally and physically healthy kids who feel safe, supported and connected are happier and more successful in and out of school,” says Lisa Flynn, who founded Yoga 4 Classrooms. “A growing body of evidence is demonstrating yoga in schools promotes the development of social, emotional, and physical well-being of school children (and teachers) as it fosters a positive, compassionate school climate, all of which are key for effective teaching and learning.”

When kids are more centered and more attentive, this can open up the way for academic changes to occur. And it’s the potential for academic benefits that may initially prompt the schools to make the leap into offering yoga – but the fuller range of benefits will of course be there as well. “With social-emotional changes in place, we begin to see improvements in the areas of academic achievement, and decreases in behavior referrals,” says Flynn. “These are the areas that may be of most interest to school administrators who are just starting to explore yoga for their schools.”

Read the full article here.

Interested in bringing yoga and mindfulness to your school? Contact us to learn more.

Related Articles:

Inner City School Principal Shares Results of School-Wide Implementation of Yoga 4 Classrooms | VIDEO
Scientific Evidence for Yoga & Mindfulness in Schools : How & Why Does it Work?
The Benefits of Meditation for Children | Forbes article
Des Moines School District Reduces Punitive Actions




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