Photo Caption:  4-H Yoga Club Members demonstrate individual “Dancer” pose at Park Avenue Elementary School.

Freehold Borough, NJ – The Park Avenue Elementary School has partnered with the Rutgers Cooperative Extension 4-H Youth Development Program of Monmouth County to offer students healthy living afterschool activities. The students formed the P.A.E. Yoga Masters 4-H Club.  Yoga is a type of exercise that combines breath, physical postures (poses), and mindfulness. After learning over 50 individual and partner poses, nineteen 4-H members gave a performing arts presentation, each selecting a yoga pose they have mastered to demonstrate while leading the group.  Practicing yoga builds strength, flexibility, and confidence.  Research has shown that focusing on breathing promotes relaxation and helps to quiets the mind.  
Virginia Krzyzanowski, 4-H Program Associate, and instructor reported “Yoga is one of the oldest forms of physical activity.  It is thousands of years old, but more popular today than ever.  Our focus is on helping youth to achieve optimal physical, social, and emotional health while having fun doing it”.  This program was made possible with funding from the Walmart Foundation and National 4-H Council.  The program was implemented using the University of Arkansas’ Yoga for Kids curriculum, designed specifically for youth ages 5-19.  

Photo Caption:  4-H Yoga Club Members demonstrate “Double Dog” partner pose at Park Avenue Elementary School.

4-H Alumni credit these presentations and their club work for allowing them to take away strong public speaking skills which continue to benefit them throughout their lives.  “I have seen the positive impact these presentations have had on my two daughters.  They gained strong self confidence and the ability to speak comfortably with both individuals and large groups.  It has served them well in their college and professional careers” stated presentation judge Isabel Shaw.  The event provides an opportunity for 4-H’ers to gain self-confidence while speaking in front of a large group.  The presentations were judged by a team of educators as audience members followed the presenter’s lead performing a yoga pose    Each participant received a ribbon with the top five scorers being awarded a prize.

The following 4-H members gave outstanding presentations and were recognize for their accomplishments:
Taylor Almonte, Aiden Rivera, Alex Maguina, Alexandra Lopez, Ana Hernandez, Elizet Gonzales, Emelin Martinez, Halrey Castro Romero, Hunter Miller, Joelle Wells-Andrews, Joseph Mendoza, Kara Manzano, Luis Chiquitero, Mary Hulse, Melissa Hernandez, Navaeh McMillian, Rihanna Rivera, Robert Almonte, and Tamia Wells.

For more information this and other programs contact the Monmouth County 4-H Youth Development Program at 732-431-7260 x7264 or visit our website at htt://njaes.rutgers.edu  The 4-H Youth Development program of Rutgers Cooperative Extension provides information and educational services to all people without regard to race, color, national origin, gender, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, or marital or family status. Rutgers Cooperative Extension is an Equal Opportunity Employer.