Keeping it Green at the 14th Street Y

Kids in our After School, Preschool, and “Now We Are Three” program are always busy learning, growing and thinking about ways to be kind to the world and to each other.

Recently, all of these programs spent some time creating green themed projects, Preschool and Now We Are Three in honor of Tu B’Shevat, the Holiday for trees, and After School as part of a whole day of greening.

After School  Counselor Mauricio had the idea to create carnival games out of recycled cardboard.
After School Counselor Mauricio had the idea to create carnival games out of recycled cardboard.
wack a clown
After School kids spent 13 weeks planning and creating games like this one.  The entire After School community got a chance to try them out on ‘greening day’!
bin it to win it
Would you know where to bin it? After School kids play “Bin it to Win it”, and learn when and how to recycle. And when to compost!
house 301 tree
House 301 in our Preschool created this beautiful tree in honor of Tu B’ Shevat. We like to remember the good work the trees are doing to bring us fruits and leaves when spring comes back again.
tree preschool
Preschool House 305 made this ‘present tree’ which you can see when you climb the stairs at the 14th Street Y!
trees tu b'shevat
There are so many ways to use the beauty of nature in the art that we do. We are looking forward to spring!

Nili’s Workouts…meet her trainer!

glennaGlenna

Nili’s (Our amazing preschool teacher) workouts have been led by our equally amazing Personal trainer Glenna. As the preschool year is coming to a close, I asked Glenna what 3 exercises she recommends that everyone can incorperate into their workouts. Here below are Glenna’s top 3!

1. Some sort of “pull up type/like” exercise. This could be an assisted pull up using the super band or a body weight row using the TRX or Maxrack bar or, yes, an actual pull up.

2. Some kind of squat or lunge exercise-there are too many examples to name here but to name a few: goblet squats, sit down stand up, back squats and walking lunges.

3. Finally, most everyone could benefit from doing a “stick up” or “T-stand” against a wall as follows: lean with your back to the wall raise the arms to shoulder height and bend the elbow up at 90 degrees with palms facing out. Like a stick up. Press every part of the arm and hand against the wall, wrists, fingers, everything and hold for 30 seconds check for parts that are coming off the wall. Lifting the hips off the wall will make this more moderate.

Today is the last day of preschool! We will miss all of our wonderful teachers and students, and look forward to fall 2014! Have a great summer everyone!

Working out with Nili (OMG QHCBTG)

Here's Nili!
Here’s Nili!
OMG! QHCBTG!
Oh My Gosh! Quads,Hammies,Calves,Biceps,Triceps& Glutes!

This weeks trainings hit every single inch of my body and it hurts so good! As The burn intensified as I lunged “around the world” (doing a set of lunges forward, side and back) with Glenna, my mind became at ease.

It was in that moment that I really realized the importance of working out. I understood the obvious reasons, but in this moment It became clear that my mind has a lot going on in it and sometimes I can’t turn it off. This usually occurs right around 10pm when I’m preparing for sleep. When I do these full body workouts with Glenna, this not only physically exhausts me, it mentally exhausts me. THIS is the combination I have been searching for.

After our training session yesterday, I think my endorphins were on overdrive and Glenna and I sat for a second to confirm our training schedule. We started chatting and I learned some fun facts about Glenna. She was a teacher herself, and I instantly I started to think about the children I teach and how I strive to be a role model for them and their families on many levels, especially health and wellness.

Each year it is a teaching goal/strategy of mine to physically/cognitively challenge each child who enters our preschool. Again, the obvious physical challenges of kicking a ball in the gum or sliding down the slide on the roof are easy ways to target physical challenge, but the big question is, how to present activities that challenge both the physical and the cognitive? I have challenged myself over the years to research and experiment with this inquiry, and have found small doses of success. As with most things in life, more answers led to more questions, the next lesson to be learned or the next goal reached.

By participating in full body trainings, I am now able to understand more of what exactly I am seeking for the students in my classroom. It is one of my teaching strategies and my philosophy, that if a child is physically and cognitively challenged, they are then able to understand and control their bodies, brains and actions. If a child is connected to their body, they are able to connect deeper to learning and build more meaningful relationships. It’s been amazing to fully experience what I want for my students, and find out how well it works! The science behind early childhood fascinates me and I feel grateful that I am in a profession I am passionate about.

Enough reading! Go challenge your mind and body!

Nili Talis is one of our beloved preschool teachers who had an epiphany about what it might take to truly be at her best.

In January, each preschool teacher at the 14th Street Y was given the opportunity to participate in “the passion project.” The idea behind this project was to motivate, inspire and connect each teacher with the feeling of passion. It was up to each individual to define their passion. When we found out that Nili would pursue her passion for health and wellness with us, we asked her to share her workouts with us, in the hopes that it might inspire a passion for health in others.