"The 21st Century Community Learning Centers (Title IV, Part B) program supports the creation of opportunities for academic enrichment during non-school hours for children, particularly students who attend high-poverty and low-performing schools. The program helps students meet state and local standards in core academic subjects, such as reading and mathematics; offers students enrichment activities that complement regular academic programs; and offers literacy and other educational services to the families of participating children. VDOE funds, through a competitive process, projects that provide significant expanded learning opportunities for children and youth, and that will assist students to meet or exceed state and local standards in core academic subjects."
My Yoga sessions fit into enrichment experiences supporting student academic achievement:
Students should learn to practice self discipline.
Students should learn to set academic and personal goals.
Students should identify and demonstrate the responsibilities that are required to ensure their academic success.
The first two weeks were challenging as I faced students from 7th through 12th grades who were inexperienced at yoga and stillness. Week by week I modified the environment to eliminate distraction (block the light switch and wall phone, take up chalk, make chairs inaccessible, enforce bookbags, laptops, cellphones and shoes stay in the hall. I borrowed yoga mats from everywhere to give students 'their space'. I separated genders, boys one day, girls the other day. I invited my community yoga students to come and mentor- stay on their mats and do yoga! I am there weekly through May and set my goal to get to savasana by then. With one, two or three mentors in the room (one is the football coach) the students see and feel the calmness. The boys could do every single balance pose I threw at them, many with closed eyes- I was holding my head in my hands and saying, "Do you have any idea how AMAZING you are? Yoga is already in you !!" Last week I even got a two breath reclined savasana and was ecstatic! Leaving yoga class one day, I heard a boy say to another, "I thought yoga was boring, but it is fun". Humble.