Friday, January 20, 2017

Mint Yoga Forms Partnership with Johnson Elementary School

Little Yogis class at Mint Yoga 
Back in October, Fort Thomas Matters announced new Yoga classes being offered at Mint Yoga Studios designed for “Little Yogis” (children).  In that story (which can be found here), a study from the publication Psychology Today was cited as evidence that the practice of Yoga can lead to direct health benefits and improved performance in children.  Additionally, these benefits had been seen in practice in numerous school systems around the country.

Thanks to Mint Yoga and their newly-formed partnership with Johnson Elementary School, the third grade students at that school will get to directly experience some of these benefits themselves.

Mint Yoga, owned by Tiffany Brennan and managed by Johnson Elementary mom Nicole Carter Schilling, was contacted in September of 2016 by Aimee Shadwell (third grade teacher at Johnson) to inquire about the cost of bringing yoga to her students.  As it turned out, Shadwell was writing a grant to test using yoga and meditation to improve executive functioning of her students.  Schilling, who fielded the question, and Mint Yoga were “on board the minute (Schilling) read the email.” Schilling went on to say, “Not only do my kids go to Johnson but I strongly believe yoga and meditation has a place in school systems.”

The Johnson PTO must have agreed with Schilling as Shadwell’s grant request was fulfilled by the PTO and scheduled for implementation beginning in January of 2017.  In her January 9 newsletter, Johnson Principal Jamee Flaherty describes the project as such, “They (the teachers) will collaborate with Mint Yoga for 30 minute sessions during the next semester to work on mindfulness techniques” and also that the “mindfulness project (knows) that the greatest impact can be discovered when addressing executive functioning skills through the use of yoga and meditation”.  Schilling believes that these classes will bring “increases (to) their (the students’) flexibility, strength, coordination, and body awareness,” as well as “mentally, (an improved) concentration and sense of calmness and relaxation.”

The third grade (70 students) will be taught in these 30-minute sessions by Maggie Rosch who formerly taught Mint Yoga Studios’ “Tween” classes.  Rosch is a certified (200RYT) and highly-qualified instructor who also trained with Mint Yoga’s “Baby and Me” instructor.  Classes will be held in the Johnson Gymnasium.

Schilling also had some direct impact on the Johnson PTO’s ability to bring these classes to the school; Schilling led the Silent Auction at the Johnson Hullabaloo (the school’s largest fundraiser) along with Amy Silverton.  The auction was able to gross enough money to fund several of the teacher grants, including this one.  Said Schilling, “We raised $18,000 (in silent auction) and now I get to help further by participating in using these funds in a way that I know will benefit our students. It’s pretty awesome.”

To find out more about Mint Yoga and the classes they offer for youths please visit their website at http://www.mintyogastudio.com.

Be sure to check back to FTM in the future for a follow-up story on the impact these classes have on the third graders at Johnson Elementary.  Also, if you have any great ideas to continue to improve the lives of the Fort Thomas school children, be sure to seek out your school’s PTO to knowledge-share.

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