September 29, 2015 — On Friday mornings at Big Cross elementary, every student in grades 1-4 has the opportunity to practice breathing, stretching, and positive stress management—thanks in part to a donation from the School District Foundation of Glens Falls.
Foundation board members Kris Hatch and former GFSD superintendent Tom McGowan presented Big Cross staff members with a $500 gift to provide yoga instruction every Friday morning through mid-December. Tobey Gifford, co-owner of Lemon Tree yoga studio, spends just over an hour in the Big Cross cafeteria each week, providing instruction to nearly 210 kids in 30-minute blocks.
“We want to give students positive coping strategies that may not be modeled for them in other areas of their life,” said teacher Jen Chapman, who spearheaded the initiative. The effort is a direct reflection of an aspect of the district mission statement: “to model behaviors that are influential to the character as well as the mind.”
The Foundation has provided nearly $30,000-worth of support to Glens Falls students over the past several years, including:
Big Cross fourth-graders were on hand for the check
presentation last Friday, along with Principal Debbie Hall,
instructor Tobey Gifford (whose children also attended Glens
Falls City Schools) and reading teacher Jen Chapman.