Greenpoint Gazette

New District 14 Health Curriculum Incorporates Fitness into Everyday Lifestyle


With the start of the new academic year, District 14’s schools are showing a stronger commitment to health and fitness for its students.

Through a partnership with the Sonima Foundation the district has launched a Health and Wellness Program.

Health and Wellness instructors and PE teachers from the schools have already immersed themselves in the Sonima Foundation curriculum, which they will translate to the students at their respective schools through yoga-based exercises, mindful practices, and by increasing their knowledge about nutrition.

The goal of the program is not just for students to practice healthier lifestyles as a whole but also to increase their attention spans and reduce stress.

“The Sonima Foundation is proud to join the District 14 team,” said Eugene Ruffin, the Executive Director at the Sonima Foundation. “[Our] organization is eager to provide Brooklyn students with dynamic health and wellness program opportunities. It is our sincere belief that by working together, we will be able to positively impact the lives of students– and by extension, have a positive impact on the entire community.”

The program will impact the 3,200 students in District 14 (The program is being implemented in 8 district schools at the moment). Sonima’s programs already serve over 43,000 students in states including California, Texas, and Florida.

Studies have shown that incorporating practices like stretching, and intentional breathing can reduce instances of violence and bullying, and can increase attendance and improve academic scores.

“Brooklyn School District 14 is committed to improving the lives of our students,” said Alicja Winnicki, District 14 Superintendent. “Sonima Health and Wellness programs offer students the skills to become healthier and happier, and better position them for success. District 14 is grateful for the new programs that will benefit thousands of our students across eight school sites.”

In District 14, the health and wellness classes will take place during school hours. Classes will be 40 minutes long and take place twice a week.

While the district highly encourages all students to participate, the program is voluntary, and students who do not wish to participate for any reason can utilize that period for homework or other study related activities.

The program will launch October 27 with a morning of yoga demonstrations with local elected officials, wellness experts, and the District 14 administration at P.S. 196.

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