The Impact Yoga in the Classroom has on our Students
Yoga in the classroom is an innovative project that serves to support health and well-being of elementary students, teaching elementary students and teachers to enthusiastically engage in health practices as well as apply self-regulation and mindfulness practices in the classroom. The Dubuque Community School District’s vision statement prioritizes students becoming citizens of character. This objective reaches beyond academic achievement to demonstrate the importance of mastering social-emotional skills for long term career and personal success.
For the past two years, the district has piloted a groundbreaking project in which certified children’s yoga instructors from Challenge to Change (C2C) have led the classroom yoga project in an increasing number of elementary schools in the Dubuque Community School District. During the 2017-2018 year, four elementary schools participated in the project, and this number increased to seven in the 2018-2019 year. This pilot project confirmed research showing that by applying these tools, students develop stronger social-emotional skills, improve their physical health, increase mind-body awareness, expand their self-esteem, improve behavior, and increase academic achievement.
For the 2019-2020 school year, the district would like to expand the project to all 13 elementary schools. Challenge to Change staff will visit classrooms to work directly with students throughout the year. They will also provide training for teachers during in-service periods, as well as professional development classes offered through Keystone AEA.
Another objective of this project is to measure the effects of regular yoga and mindfulness practices on student health and well-being, and the impact of socio-economic status (SES) on a student’s ability to apply the principles. A researcher from the University of Kansas, Dr. Abbey Dvorak, is facilitating a study by gathering data through pre/post-tests to gauge students’ ability to engage in self-regulation practices. The data will be analyzed to determine whether a student’s enrollment in a high or low SES school has an impact on their outcomes.
If you are interested in learning more or donating to Yoga in the Classroom, please contact Amy Unmacht at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 563-588-2700.