My students and their families value education, hard work and respect. They come to school everyday eager to learn, despite what they are going through at home. They are loving, kind and gentle. Our school is a title one school in Montbello, where most of our students have free and reduced lunch. Many of our families face difficult challenges everyday, but fight to bring their children to school.
Stress and anxiety run high in most schools, and ours is not an exception.
Experiencing stress and trauma at a young age can have detrimental effects on children's prefrontal cortex and social-emotional development. While academic standards are pushed even higher, there is a far greater need for support in emotional development. Our school is an early childhood center serving only preschool and kindergarten age children (3 to 6 years). We have the amazing opportunity to make an impact at a young age.
As an advocate for social-emotional development, a kids yoga teacher, and M.A.Ed. in Early Childhood Education, I believe it is crucial to support young children's social-emotional skills. Young children should be taught problem solving skills, empathy, and calm down strategies. I believe yoga and mindfulness can do that.
Yoga is a great way to relax the body and mind.
Yoga and mindfulness improve attention, focus, and executive function and help students regulate stress, remain calm and have better impulse control. Children who can regulate their emotions will do better in school, so why don't we teach these skills at a young age?
I teach in a low-income, beautifully diverse community, I can see the lack of resources and support for emotional development. I want to give access to all of our students, parents and teachers who need stress-reduction and mindfulness strategies. I will offer yoga classes in and out of school and will support my teachers in implementing yoga and mindfulness in their classrooms.
These yoga mats (and cleaning supplies) will reach not only the students in our school, but the teachers, school staff, and family members in the community. I am very passionate about yoga and mindfulness in the classroom and have already witnessed the incredible effects in my own yoga practice, I can't wait to see what it will do for our students.
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