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Camp Super Reader students practice yoga thanks to local business

Students practice yoga

With arms stretched out, trying to balance on one foot, about a dozen students swayed back and forth with looks of concentration on their faces as they held a yoga pose. They were among the 300 elementary students who attended summer school at La Vista West Elementary in 2019 to brush up their reading and writing skills. So why were they doing yoga?

Cooperation BEST Business Partners, as well as high school sports teams, visited with the students each day providing them with a fun activity to do to help enrich their lives. The idea is to break up their academic day to make the day fun and encourage attendance/engagement while the students are in summer school.

On this particular day on the first day of July, their enrichment activity was yoga taught by Essentials Natural Family Health yoga instructors.

Students practice yoga

"Today we were doing their breakout groups for summer school. We had yoga groups going every half hour," said Sarah Buettenback, who works for Essential Natural Family Health. 

"We love supporting the schools, we love introducing the kids to health and wellness, I feel like yoga is an amazing activity that deals with your self holistically that deals with mind, body, and spirit. It's beautiful and I think it's great for kids to tap into those connections early."

Yoga is that whole process of self-awareness being mindful of our body and how our body responds, Wood said. 

"During the school day, that's really important. We come across a variety of situations and being able to use some of the strategies to calm ourselves, to get ourselves in a better state of mind so we can be the best that we can be, I think that provides kids with resources and strategies and skills that will help them, " Wood said.

"When they are in their best place then they can be their most successful academically as well."

This year’s summer school theme is “Camp Super Reader” which explains the superhero decorations donning the halls of the school, all thanks to Oriental Trading Company who donated the decor.  

 “Superheroes are of course really big in the movies, we go and watch those people do fantastic things but we want our kids and our teachers to know they are superheroes too. Each and every day they have the opportunity to do great things,” said Lisa Wood, one of the summer school principals.

 “This summer we are improving their skills in reading and they are going to go back to school in the Fall ready to go and demonstrate their superpower of working hard and doing their best! Those skills will result in improved achievement and a great school year for all of them.”