Local elementary school ahead of curve for required mental health education
Thursday, March 28th 2019, 6:03 PM EDT by Ashley Cafaro
ELMIRA, N.Y. (WENY) – Students at Parley Coburn Elementary in Elmira say they’re way ahead of a New York State Initiative. The initiative is aimed towards all public schools educating their students on mental health.
It begins with breathing and ends with meditation. Its a new Yoga and Mindfulness class students are taking once a week at Parley Coburn Elementary for 40 minutes.
“Its really helping kids feel more calm, figure out things to do when they’re angry, frustrated or mad. They’re finding their voice,” says Jessica Janowsky, Yoga and Mindfulness Teacher at Parley Coburn Elementary.
The class is in response to a New York State Initiative, requiring all public schools in the state to educate their students on mental health awareness. It was first introduced to students in September and is only be offered right now at Parley Coburn as a pilot. Janowsky says because of the class, she has seen some big improvements.
Janowsky added, “I feel like kids are better able to communicate. They’re less likely to get into altercations, if they’re taking it seriously. They love the meditation, a lot of them love the practice of the poses, which can help you feel more calm, and get your energy out.”
“Yoga is a lot funner than I would expect it to be, and it helps me get my anger out whenever I get mad at some people,” says Natalie Buchanan, a third-grade student at Parley Coburn Elementary.
This week, students are also focusing on getting their heart rates going as part of a challenge through the American Heart Association.
Since students only have this class once a week for 40 minutes, Janowsky recommends that parents try this at home with their children for at least 5 to 10 minutes a day.