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CORRECTION: Tea helps fund exercise program for schools

Clarifies description of class

Posted: December 3, 2012 5:40 p.m.
Updated: December 4, 2012 1:57 p.m.

Wendy Poore, first grade teacher at Fair Oaks Ranch Community School, says stretch-and-tone classes help her first-graders stay focused on lessons. Signal photo by Michele E. Buttelman

More than two dozen people attended a weekend fundraiser to help support stretch-and-tone exercise classes for elementary school students in the Santa Clarita Valley.

And one Fair Oaks Ranch Community School teacher said the classes are “life-altering.”

First grade teacher Wendy Poore said an exercise instructor visits her classroom for 30 minutes each week, and “after the class is over, my students are so focused.”

Poore said she is able to teach exceptionally challenging subjects on the afternoons after the stretch-and-tone class.

“I am able to do that because my students are focused, The class also provides the students with skills that allow them to calm themselves and focus themselves,” Poore said. “These are life-altering skills.”

The Saturday tea included entertainment by Jesse Brazil, a violinist from The Master’s College, and a silent auction.
“The money raised today goes directly to help pay for the program in the schools,” said event organizer Catherine Sjolund. “We want to get into more and more schools.”

Sjolund is the founder and director of Special Kids Health & Wellness Center in Newhall. She previously worked as a teacher at Fair Oaks Ranch Community School.

Currently the stretch-and-tone class is offered in six mainstream classrooms in the Santa Clarita Valley, said Sjolund.

In the spring the program will expand into more classrooms, including a few special-needs classes, and will be offered at schools in Sulphur Springs, Newhall and Saugus school districts.

“This has been a wonderful program for my daughter,” said Terri Wilson, whose daughter Tamara is a special-needs student in the Special Kids Program. “She gets so much out of it. It has improved her fine motor skills, which she didn’t have before.”

In addition to stretch-and-tone therapy, Sjolund’s Special Kids nonprofit also offers the parents of special-needs students educational advocacy services and social skills training for students.





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