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After School Yoga 

Yoga          *          Mindfulness          *          Art          *          Social Emotional Learning

Packaged up and ready for you to implement in out of school time programs.

1.

Children's Yoga Activity Book

Each child gets 1 printed activity book that includes SEL related journal pages, cut-and-color yoga flashcards, and a 'choose your own adventure' yoga class board game. Students can lead their friends in a yoga class set to the theme of their choice, or after school site staff can lead students in a class. Time is allotted at the end of each class for self reflection in SEL themed journal pages. Pricing depends on number of students. Contact for details. 

2.

T.O.T. In Person Staff Training

 Optional Add-On

In person training is available for 

your site staff to practice the physical poses, and learn how to properly lead a yoga class using the Children's Yoga Activity Book, flash cards, and board game. Price depends on location of the site and number of attendees.

3.

Yoga Room Build-Out Optional Add-On

Do you have a designated space that you want to be the 'yoga room' or 'calm corner' at your after school site? We are available to handle the design, purchasing of supplies, and implementation of this space for you. Grace + Zen started as a 500 square foot children's studio in Orange County offering yoga, dance and art. Children and parents always felt so safe, happy and calm in this space. It would be a dream come true to see this space replicated in schools across the state. This space can look different from site to site, depending on available space and budget.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Why Yoga for kids?

​Our child-friendly yoga classes taught by your trusted after school staff create a positive, non-competitive learning experience for children to look forward to each week, benefiting children both physically and mentally.

 

Mental benefits -  Over time, children will be able to more productively control their reactions to internal and external circumstances. For example, when a child is feeling sad, angry, or alone, they can use learned breathing techniques, yoga poses, or mindset shifts to help themselves feel better inside, and avoid any off-the-cuff reactions that might bring negativity or harm toward themselves or others. Children also learn to have an overall more positive outlook on life through learnings and exercises about mindfulness and the power of positive thought.  

Overall benefits include increased focus, concentration, confidence, self awareness, emotional regulation, social skills, self-love and acceptance, overall calmness, and overall external love and acceptance toward others.

Physical benefits - Increase strength, balance, flexibility, coordination, and overall physical health. 

Why Grace + Zen?

Grace + Zen teachers have been using this curriculum to lead after school yoga classes since 2015 throughout Orange County, the San Francisco Bay Area, and the Inland Empire. Our school partners have included public elementary schools, preschools, private elementary schools, community centers, and private special needs schools. 

What happens at the initial in-person training?

Attendees will participate in a 1 hour sample class as if they are the children, and then break into small groups to practice following the curriculum and leading classes themselves. This allows attendees to read the sample scripts out loud and learn how to use a calm voice, and demonstrate physical poses while giving verbal instruction at the same time.

None of our after school staff have any experience with yoga, how are we supposed to teach yoga to our students?

Our curriculum includes word-for-word scripts for your after school staff to read out loud to the class. It also includes photos of physical yoga poses for leaders to follow. The idea of teaching yoga to children is not as intimidating as it may seem. Our hope is that all after school leaders using the curriculum will have fun with the group and lead a light-hearted class.

What are some examples of the class themes?

Gratitude, love, peace, acceptance, self-control, strength, community, empathy, relationships, honesty, responsibility, healthy, nature, and more. 

What other supplies does our school need to provide?

Paper, printer ink, markers/crayons/colored pencils. 

Can we start the program mid-year?

Yes, start at any time.

How does your curriculum include Social Emotional Learning components?

Each week has a different theme, which all relate to Social Emotional Learning. Some of these themes are listed above. We also allow students time in each class to reflect and share their thoughts and feelings with the group if they choose to do so. The journal pages and prompts that students work on each class allow them to really break down concepts related to S.E.L. Some more examples of how the curriculum relates to S.E.L. are as follows:

  • The 'loving community' lesson focuses on creating an action plan to spread love in your community. Each student designs 'love tokens' to hand out to people they love, or who make them feel loved. There are similar 'tokens' for spreading kindness and gratitude as well. The tokens represent a way for children to express their feelings if maybe they are not comfortable verbally expressing their feelings. 

  • The 'positive role model' lesson breaks down the idea that just because someone is older than you does not mean that they know best. It talks about how to find positive role models and maintain a relationship with them, and touches on why it is not a good idea to listen to someone who might be a 'negative' role model. 

  • The 'self love' lesson includes scripted meditations for teachers to read to children about naming all the things they love about themselves. The students then write or draw these attributes in their journal. The lesson then goes on to explain why it is so important to always remember to love yourself, especially in times when others may be putting you down, when you feel less than confident going into a new situation, or when you feel alone.

The overarching hope is that these topics can plant seeds in each child to then continue learning about and practicing throughout their life, in an overall effort to build a more positive, loving, and hopeful future generation with less hate, crime, depression, substance abuse, and violence. 

How does our program meet California Expanded Learning Quality Standards?

Point-of-Service Quality Standards:

  1. Safe and Supportive Environment -

    • During the initial in-person training, Grace + Zen goes over physical safety guidelines for after school staff to follow when teaching yoga. We also offer modifications for students with any physical or learning disabilities.

    • We emphasize that it is crucial for the after school staff who lead our classes to be a trusted and positive influence on the children, rather than a drill sergeant. The yoga class should always be a safe time for the children, and trusting their teacher is a key role in creating this safe space. 

  2. Active and Engaged Learning -

    • All of the class themes stand as an opportunity for each student to expand their horizon and welcome in new ways of thinking that can benefit them for a lifetime.

    • The journal is a hands-on activity that the students build on throughout the entire year, taking home their finished journal at the end of the school year or summer session.

    • Students will complete a pre and post survey to determine if their thoughts and emotions have changed at all throughout the year, as well as if their ways of thinking in general have changed.

    • Students learn through multiple senses including sound, touch, and site.

    • Each class includes a group activity to allow students an opportunity to work with peers. 

    • Each lesson includes time for students to think, reflect, and share on a thought-provoking subject such as honesty, empathy, kindness, love, acceptance, fear, and more. 

  3. Skill Building

    • The final product for students is the completed yoga journal that they take home to look back on in situations where the journal may offer a helpful reminder in resolving a sticky situation. ​For example, one lesson talks about friendships, and the importance of keeping positive friendships, and letting go of relationships that may be bringing more bad than good into your life. If a student makes a new friend that keeps getting them into trouble, the student can reflect back on this lesson. The lesson has the student draw a picture of the friend, as well as what this friend likes to do, and how this friend makes the student feel. This allows the student an opportunity to visually see what this friend is all about, to better determine if this friend is a positive influence or not.  

  4. Youth Voice and Leadership​​

    • The curriculum teaches students how they can use their voice and actions to show other members of their community how to be positive citizens. ​

  5. Healthy Choices and Behaviors 

    • Overall, this entire curriculum is focused on bettering student health ​- mentally, physically and emotionally. The follow along yoga sequences and yoga games offer the physical health benefits, and the rest of class focuses on mental and emotional health. 

    • Each week includes a take home activity, that we hope students will do with family or friends in their living environment. This helps spread the benefits beyond just the after school program, but into the community as well. 

  6. Diversity, Access and Equity 

    • One lesson focuses on acceptance of new things, including new experiences, cultures, foods, people, religions, etc. The lesson has students think about what could make them feel better prepared when first facing these new ​ideas or experiences, so that they are set up for acceptance rather than non-acceptance. 

      • For example, we have the student write out what the new experience is, then have them ask themselves if there is a person or other resource ​that can better educate them about it. The hope is that if a student has more knowledge about a new experience, they will enter into the new experience with more acceptance and an open mind, rather than hatred and a close mind. 

 

Programmatic Quality Standards

1. Quality Staff

  • Our program relies on the already vetted staff at after school programs to work directly with the students and lead the classes. 

2. Clear Vision, Mission and Purpose

  • Students will bring home a letter to guardians on the first day of class, stating what they will be learning about, what the overall hope of the program is, and how students will be sent home with a weekly activity to do with friends/family to continue their learnings. 

3. Collaborative Partnerships

  • Grace and Zen stands as a community partner available to all CA Expanded Learning regions. 

4. Continuous Quality Improvement

  • Grace and Zen will continue to make improvements to the curriculum based on feedback from after school staff, students, parents, and all others involved. 

5. Program Management

  • A formal written agreement will be agreed upon before any services or payments are exchanged.

6. Sustainability 

  • There is a timeliness of this program that unfortunately does need to be mentioned. S.E.L. and mental health needs to be emphasized in schools now more than ever, due to not one but multiple types of tragedies that are currently flooding our schools and negatively impacting today's youth. These tragedies  include school shootings, substance abuse, bullying, hate, violence, racism, depression, anxiety, technology over-load, low self-worth, and suicide. Many of these issues are inter-linked and have a cause and affect relationship on each other. This curriculum is by no means meant to be a cure all, but one small effort toward building a more positive future, and offering an opportunity for individual children to feel more heard and work through their thoughts and emotions - something that is tough for school day teachers to achieve in overcrowded classrooms, and not always available for children living in an unstable home environment.

Grace and Zen  currently offers Kids yoga and dance classes, camps and parties for a variety of ages from baby to teen in South Orange County and the San Francisco East Bay/Tri-Valley area. We cater to families in San Juan Capistrano, Ladera Ranch, Rancho Mission Viejo, Dana Point, San Clemente, Laguna Niguel, Mission Viejo, Aliso Viejo, Alamo, Danville, and San Ramon.

Our mission is to bring the benefits of yoga and dance to as many children as possible. We are doing this through our Social Emotional Learning Children's Yoga Journal for use in school and homeschool setting, as well as with our licensed curriculum program. 

 

info@graceandzenoc.com. Website Design copyright Nikki Curry 2019.