YMCA Funds New Programs
This spring, we conducted a pilot program with preschool children at the YMCA Christ Child Early Learning Center in OTR. The results of teaching yoga and mindfulness to the kids was so positive, we’re thrilled to announce that YMCA leadership has agreed to fund two Project Yoga programs at Rising Stars Academy and Christ Child Day Nursery for the 2017-2018 school year! Carrie Gibbs King, PhD and Site Administrator for the YMCA of Greater Cincinnati shared with us a reaction we have heard many time before. “We began the 6 week pilot program at The Christ Child Early Learning Center with Project Yoga this spring to teach both the preschoolers and teachers balance and self regulation techniques. We noticed immediate results, with a drastic decline in behavioral incident reports and increased contentment in the classroom. From there, we knew we wanted to expand Project Yoga’s programming to our teachers and children at Rising Stars Academy, too.” Thanks to the YMCA for believing in the work we do and impact we’ve had on their kids!
Amy O’Neil leads the teaching effort at the Y’s Christ Child Day Nursery. “These precious 3-5 year olds live in the moment. Their minds don’t go to the past or into the future as much as we adults do. I’m impressed with their ability to focus and absorb.” Mats are arranged in a circle for class. “The kids love being in a circle and supporting each other. At times, I’ll place an empty mat next to mine and the kids take turns sharing their proficiency. This is the age to start yoga, it can really become part of their lives and foster mindfulness, kindness, acceptance, and gratitude in the every day.”
Erica Franke leads the two classes held each week at Rising Stars Academy. “I am impressed with how these wee ones have learned to interact more peacefully with each other and respect other’s abilities and space.” Props are used to communicate concepts. This past week, Erica DIY’d a “fire” from colored foam sheets to share the idea of letting go of anger or negative thoughts. “Each child thought of something that made them angry and leaped over the fire to let those feelings go. The broader concept is to show them how they can recognize their feelings and redirect them with breath work and positive physical activity.”