Kappa Delta Pi Convocation: Designing the Future, Indianapolis, Nov. 1-3, 2018

It was a pleasure to copresent “Bringing Mindfulness to Schools” at the KDP International Conference this fall.

BOCES Mental Health & Wellness Day: Self-Care Workshop

It was wonderful to present at the BOCES Mental Health & Wellness Day offered at the Central Valley School District to countywide professionals working with children in our local schools. This Self-Care workshop offered professionals simple ideas for improved self-care as well as easy techniques to incorporate Mindfulness strategies right into the workday. Participants left with a “Top 10 Self-Care To Do List” as well as simple breathing and Mindful Movement exercises.

SAANYS: School Administrators Association of New York State, "Leading and Learning Now Conference"

Mental Health concerns have never been more prevalent, Mindfulness decreases stress, depression, and anxiety while benefiting health and overall well-being. Our session provided practical applications for administrators to use with staff and for staff to use with students. We had an amazing time, meet wonderful people and were proud to share our knowledge and firsthand experience with Mindfulness.

Highlights from Summer/Reading Mindfulness Camp 2018!

Highlights from our Summer Reading/Mindfulness Camp:

King of Kings Summer Pro Am Life Development Program has once again partnered with Mindful Yoga by Sherri in offering a Summer Reading/Mindfulness Program for area children looking to maintain or improve their reading skills over summer vacation. National Honor Society high school students tutored elementary  children in reading, participated in mindfulness sessions together and built relationships. The program objectives include: instill a love for reading, learn reading strategies, improve oral fluency and reading comprehension, learn self-monitoring and regulation skills, develop a yoga and mindfulness practice, and ultimately develop a positive relationship with the mentors.

This summer program once again took place at Mohawk Valley Community College, under the direction of Sherri Spina, Certified Reading/Elementary Educator, Certified Yoga Instructor, and Mindfulness Consultant, Doneilous King, founder of King Of Kings and owner of DKBA, and Dr. Judy Braman, of S.M.A.R.T. Fitness Physical Therapy. 

This year was even better than the last. We had an amazing group of National Honor Society Members who took time out of their summer to experience the wonderful joys of charity firsthand. For some it was their first experience with giving back and for others they enjoyed last year and were eager to return as mentors this summer. Their feedback during our last session was heartwarming to say the least. Their suggestions for improvement included: more yoga, more mindfulness practice, and more time with their little buddies. It was inspiring to see the reactions and responses from our high school mentors! Words can not express how proud I am of you!

Our elementary children showed up for each session ready to learn, read, practice yoga, had open hearts & minds, and a willingness to practice mindfulness each week. They loved our book, Code 7, Byran R. Johnson, and enjoyed all of the related activities each week. We wish them good luck as they enter school next week and are hopeful that they continue to practice the mindfulness strategies they learned. 

We incorporated more community "Guest Readers" this year who were eager to share their profession, passions, and insights into the importance of education and reading. All camp participants benefited from their inspirational chats, listening to them read from our book, and the opportunity to connect one-on-one with our special guest readers throughout the session. We are excited about our first few guest readers lined up for next summer. 

Thank you to our mentors and students for donating your time, opening your hearts, and enriching the lives of others this summer! You are an amazing group of children and you should ALL be very proud of your hard work and dedication! We will miss you and look forward to seeing you next summer at Mohawk Valley Community College for our 3rd Annual King of Kings Summer Pro Am Reading/Mindfulness Camp.

Keep reading, be present and mindful, and strive for a CALM MIND, STRONG BODY, & OPEN HEART! 

Namaste!

Highlights from Summer Reading/Mindfulness Camp

Week 1: King of Kings Summer Pro Am Life Development Program has partnered with Mindful Yoga by Sherri in offering a Summer Reading/Mindfulness Program for area children looking to improve their reading skills over summer vacation. National Honor Society high school students will tutor elementary children in reading, participate in mindfulness sessions together, and build relationships. The program objectives include: instill a love for reading, learn reading strategies, improve oral fluency and reading comprehension, learn self-monitoring and regulation skills, and ultimately develop a positive relationship with their mentors. 

Participants will sit together at the end of each session at a King Of Kings Summer Pro Am basketball game. This 5-week program will take place at Mohawk Valley Community College, under the direction of Sherri Spina, Certified Reading/Elementary Educator and Certified Yoga Instructor, Doneilous King, founder of King Of Kings and owner of DKBA, and Dr. Judy Braman, of S.M.A.R.T Fitness Physical Therapy. 

Our camp is full for this year. Registration for Summer 2018 will commence in May. 💙

Week 2: Thanks to Rob Perry of Quadsimia for donating this awesome design for our 1st Annual Summer Reading Mindfulness Program T-Shirt! It's amazing! We truly appreciate your effort! 🙏🏻

We are off to a wonderful start and are in the 2nd week of our 5-week program. The children are enjoying STAT, building relationships with their mentors, and are learning Mindfulness Strategies at the start of each session. We couldn't have asked for a more wonderful group of children to pilot this program! 💙

Week 3: Thanks to our guest reader Brandon Long, educator, and co-founder of King of Kings Summer Pro Am. The children enjoyed your visit last week at Mohawk Valley Community College. The mentors are having a great time participating in this opportunity to give back, while our younger students are benefiting from the relationship with their high school reading partners. Weekly lessons reinforce reading comprehension, fluency, and writing skills. In addition, all students are learning Mindfulness strategies and yoga poses which help manage stress through breathing, awareness, meditation and healthy movements. Yoga and Mindfulness help to build concentration, increase confidence and positive self-image, all while improving overall health and well-being. We are all looking forward to the remaining two weeks of this great summer program!💙

Week 4: "Focusing on breathing helps calm the body by slowing heart rate, lowering blood pressure, and sharpening focus. Paying attention to breathing also supports strong functioning in the higher brain. Controlled breathing lessens anxiety by overriding the "fight, flight, or freeze" response set off by the amygdala and gives control to conscious thought, which takes place in the prefrontal cortex. When breathing is deliberately regulated, the brain is primed to THINK FIRST and then PLAN a response, enabling MINDFUL BEHAVIOR." (The MindUp Curriculum, 2011) Students learn to "retrain their brains" and become less reactive and more reflective! This allows them to break bad habits and form new healthy habits. We look forward to the final week of our King of Kings Summer Pro Am/Mindful Yoga by Sherri Reading/Mindfulness Camp.💙

Week 5: Thank you to our mentors and students for donating your time, opening your hearts, and enriching the lives of others this summer! You are an amazing group of children and you should ALL be very proud of your hard work and dedication! We will miss you all and look forward to seeing you next summer at Mohawk Valley Community College for our 2nd Annual King of Kings Summer Pro Am Reading/Mindfulness Camp. Keep reading, be present and mindful, and strive for a CALM MIND, STRONG BODY, & OPEN HEART! Namaste! 💙

DKBA: Boys Basketball Camp Mindful Yoga Sessions

Many of the NBA's best players regularly practice yoga! Some benefits include: 1. Play better D-Change directions in fractions of a second by improving hip mobility. 2. Yoga helps you become lighter on your feet. This helps you move and react more quickly and puts less stress on knees and joints. 3. Yoga makes you less susceptible to injury by lengthening and strengthening your muscles. Long, flexible tissues are less prone to damage and tears than tight ones. 4. Helps you to have better emotional control. Tuning into your breathe allows you to stay in the present moment, remained focused, and ultimately make better decisions. This helps to prevent an unhealthy reaction to situations that may arise during a game. 5. Yoga can actually make you taller. Yoga strengthens AND lengthens the muscles. Many poses lengthen the spine, creating space, improving posture and making you stand taller. 

Blake Griffin, LA Clippers, "I think it's huge for guys to start young and realize the benefits. When you take care of your body through yoga, it extends years in your career. I do think (yoga) will become more and more the norm in the NBA." Other NBA players who speak out on the benefits of yoga include: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, LeBron James, Kevin Love, Dwayne Wade, Kevin Durant, Kevin Garnett, Joe Johnson, and Jabari Parker, to name a few.

King of Kings/Mindful Yoga by Sherri Summer Reading Mindfulness Program

King of Kings Life Development Program has partnered with Mindful Yoga by Sherri in offering a Summer Reading/Mindfulness Program for area children looking to improve their reading skills over summer vacation. National Honor Society high school students will tutor elementary children in reading, participate in mindfulness sessions together, and build relationships. The program objectives include: instill a love for reading,  learn reading strategies, improve oral fluency and reading comprehension, learn self-monitoring and regulation skills, and ultimately develop a positive relationship with their mentors. 

Participants will sit together at the end of each session at a King of Kings Summer Pro Am basketball game. This 5-week program will take place at MVCC under the direction of Donelious King, founder of King of Kings and owner of DKBA, Sherri Spina, Certified Reading/Elementary Educator and Certified Yoga Instructor, and Dr. Judy Braman, of Smart Fitness Physical Therapy. Our camp is full for this year. Registration for Summer 2018 will commence in May.

MVCC Summer Soccer Camp

I had a wonderful week introducing soccer campers to the benefits of Yoga and Mindfulness. The kids faced this new challenge by working hard to maintain focus, balance, and concentration. My sessions were full and kids of all ages were excited to come back each day to learn new poses and techniques. I can't wait to see these campers again next summer!