Scheck Hillel Community School in North Miami Beach has implemented yoga as a way to deepen and reinforce pre-literacy skills in Early Childhood students.
Through this program, called yoga storytelling, students listen to a story and then interact with body movements by acting as the story’s characters to retell the narrative. Yoga storytelling is part of this Jewish school’s approach to individualized education: nurturing learners in mind, body and spirit.
The program’s instructional activity is designed to help the students visualize the story, resulting in strong comprehension, while obtaining the physical and mental health benefits of yoga as a form of exercise.
The program is taught by Leanne Weinbrot, one of the school’s teachers, and currently focuses on ages 3 and 4.
“We are listening to a story, pretending to be the characters, acting, having fun, and really just tapping into our imagination, which is so important for a child,” Weinbrot said in a press release.
Monica Wagenberg, head of Scheck Hillel’s Juda and Maria Diener Lower School, said in a press release: “With this program, the children are connecting pre-literacy skills with kinesiology and creativity. Those connections really help them not only to understand the story, but also to visualize it and take it with them.”
Benefits of the yoga program are intended to extend into learning throughout the day, beyond the actual yoga sessions.
“In the classroom, I definitely see a boost of self-confidence,” said Jennifer Alon, one of Scheck Hillel’s PK4 teachers, in a press release. “With self-confidence the children can achieve anything…academically, socially, and in all other areas. Once they feel really good about themselves, they can reach out for the stars.”
Call 305-931-2831 or visit ehillel.org for more information on the school.