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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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