Wellness Weeks in Schools for LAUSD Youth
People's Yoga will partner with 3 LAUSD elementary schools to provide our Healthy Schools Immersion Program (HSIP), an innovative and culturally relevant week long program of yoga, mindfulness, art and community to build self awareness, and stress management for social and emotional success. HSIP focuses on in-person classes for students, faculty/staff and parents and take- home resources for continued practice, including classroom literature in the form of posters and a deck of cards that we will distribute to classrooms and families.
What is the primary issue area that your application will impact?
K-12 STEAM Education
In which areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?
In what stage of innovation is this project, program, or initiative?
Expand existing project, program, or initiative
What is your understanding of the issue that you are seeking to address?
Since the on-set of COVID 19, children of color in high poverty areas face an exacerbated mental health crisis as they often come from families of essential workers who had increased exposure to the virus and navigated chaos & uncertainty at home and school. Recognizing this, PY created and implemented Healthy Schools Immersion Program (HSIP) at 2 LAUSD elementary schools, starting with a year around program in 2021 at Accelerated Charter Elementary (ACES) and a Wellness Week at Frank del Olmo Elementary in 2023. In a LA Times article from 2022 (https://shorturl.at/kvNPV) highlighting our work at ACES, Principal Figueroa shares that younger children lack the ability to verbalize their stress and will show it through yelling or pushing. HSIP gives them tools and strategies to cope with stress and calm their nervous system, enabling them to improve their mental health particularly in CA where our state ranks in the bottom 5 in counselor to student ratio (LA Times article).
Describe the project, program, or initiative this grant will support to address the issue.
If awarded the LA2050 grant, our vision is to expand HSIP to 3 additional LAUSD schools and create and distribute classroom and family resources for continued practice. Each week-long HSIP will be over the course of 7 days beginning with two 90 minute trainings, one for staff and faculty and one for parents, to introduce the program topics, build a relationship, and set the foundation with the adults of the school community. We then offer 45 minute intimate sessions over the course of 5 days, one session per TK-5th grade class. We close out the program with a musical performance with Tia Leah's Neighborhood, led by co-founder Leah Gallegos for students and staff focused on celebrating the end of the program and reiterating the topics learned throughout the week. We will provide classroom and family resources such as bilingual Spanish/English posters and a deck of cards with the techniques and strategies from our curriculum that were covered over the week so that students and faculty can return to them as teaching tools throughout the school year. The curriculum is focused on: A basic understanding of yoga foundations Social and emotional skills: self and spatial awareness, focus and stress management Culture, identity, storytelling and well being Coping techniques for conflict and challenges Opportunities for fun, playful and creative movement Body awareness and self expression Leadership skills, self esteem and confidence Take home tools to manage emotions
Describe how Los Angeles County will be different if your work is successful.
Our vision for success is that the children, faculty and parents that we reach have immediate tools to help them self-regulate, increase their coping mechanisms and alleviate feelings of stress. The County will be impacted by our work because we have already implemented HSIP at two elementary schools (impacting approx 1,000 pupils, 60 staff and their families) and with this grant will be able to expand our reach to impact a total of five school communities (2,500 pupils, 150 staff and their families). We have identified three additional elementary schools (upon our existing programs at ACES and Frank Del Olmo ES) including Aldama ES (Local District East), Wilshire Park ES (Local District West) and Normandie ES (Local District South) as potential partners. These sites allow us to work in various parts of Los Angeles, distributing our impact further. From October 2023 to October 2024, we will host week-long HSIP at these three new school locations.
What evidence do you have that this project, program, or initiative is or will be successful, and how will you define and measure success?
PY implemented HSIP 2021 in the form of year around and weekly programming at two different schools. Qualitatively, we received feedback from staff of the benefits HSIP has on the children. Students are using the breathing and movement techniques in the school yard and in the classroom to manage their emotions, stress and conflict. Students across all ages have shared terminology, exercises and understanding of the strategies and techniques they learned. Our end of program survey resulted in 99% of K-2nd graders self-reporting that they were more Happy or Calm after participating. From the same group, 94% reported they have skills to handle their emotions and stress, while 63% said their favorite part of class was Resting and 47% said Meditating. The 3rd-6th graders had a 40% decrease in feelings of Stress, 40% increase in Calm and 33% increase in Relaxation. With the LA2050 Grant, we will work with Evaluation Experts to help us refine our surveys to better measure our impact.
Approximately how many people will be impacted by this project, program, or initiative?
Direct Impact: 1,695
Indirect Impact: 1,500