Yoga Foster Announces Expansion of Programsto Washington, D.C. and Pittsburgh for 2014-2015 School Year
Nonprofitbrings play back to school withfree yoga instruction for kids in Pre-K through 4th grade, tackling the play deficit caused by reduced arts and physical education
Yoga Foster announced that it would expand its freekids’ yoga programs beyond classrooms in New York City to Washington, D.C. and Pittsburgh. The nonprofit organization works to address reducedrecess, arts and physical education in schools by training volunteer yoga instructors to go into classrooms to instructPre-K through 4th grade students in yoga with the goal of boosting kids’creativity, self esteem, and fitness.
“Weknow that play and creativity are critical aspects of childhood development,and yet they are steadily on the decline in schools — particularly in low income communities,” said Yoga Foster Founder Nicole Cardoza. “As the play deficit grows, so does childhood stress and obesity. That is why Yoga Foster works so hard to bring play backinto kids’ lives and close the creativity gap.”
Playand creativity are recognized as among the most important factors in earlychildhood development, and yet the percentage of schools with visual or performing arts programs has dropped dramatically, particularly in low income communities. According to the USPlay Coalition, only 56% of those living below the poverty line have recess, as compared to 83% of those above the poverty line. And per WCCNY,only 8% of New York City elementary school students are meeting state physical education requirements.
The effects of this are proving devastating. Per Designedto Move,today’s 10 year olds are the first generation expected to have a shorter life expectancy than their parents. Additionally, inactive kids score upto 40% lower on achievement tests than their active friends, and miss two more days of school, on average (also per Designedto Move). And according to the NewYork State Department of Health, 33.8% of New York City public school students are overweight or obese, with 17.6% considered obese.
YogaFoster, which has been working with 400 students in New York City andwill be expanding to 2500 students in the coming school year, provides acreative, affordable, and scalable solution to the problem of decreasing recess and play time in schools by bringing free yoga instruction into schools and community centers – increasingkids’ creativity and play time, leading to improved self esteem, imagination and physical fitness through proven curricula. By training and providing its dedicated tribe of instructors completely for free, inaddition to providing free yoga mats, the totalcost of the program for one child is $10 for an entire year.
“Thereis increasingly less space and time to play. By pushing some desks asideinside in the classroom and laying down a mat, we show kids that you don’t need a playground to play — you can do it anywhere,” Cardoza added.
For more information on Yoga Foster and its programs, visit www.yogafoster.org.
Play and creativity are critical to childhood development and yet they areon the decline, particularly in low income communities. YogaFosteris bridging the creativity gap, boosting kids’ imagination, self esteem, and fitness by training a tribe of dedicated instructors to leadprogramsin schools and community organizations — all for free.
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