What Else Is Going on in Wisconsin? Plenty!

With all the political turmoil in Wisconsin these days, it can be easy to overlook what else is happening there, such as the good work being done at the Genesee Lake School, recently featured in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

The school was developed to meet the needs of young people dually diagnosed with emotional and developmental disabilities, whose behavioral issues have been deemed too severe for them to continue classes in their home schools. And this year, they’re in a new facility, also designed with students’ special needs in mind.

The classrooms at Genesee Lake have rooms within them so that students can meet in small groups with their teachers or aides without disturbing students working independently in the larger classrooms. The classrooms also hold a variety of furniture, from traditional desks to stand-up desks with kickbars to cubicles, so that students can find the spot that works best for them.

There also are calming rooms and a sensory room, which is right next to the school’s computer lab and across from the much-heralded library.

In a room filled with mats and chairs, Handrich also regularly leads groups of young students through “Yoga Calm” routines.

“They beg for it all the time,” she said.

In addition to helping students learn things like focus, self-regulation and social/emotional skills, Yoga Calm helps Genesee Lake educators meet their goal of providing ways for students to “replicate successful behavior regulation techniques” away from school – whether at home or, for those who can transition back to a standard public school environment, in mainstream schools.

One development not mentioned in the article – but one that we’re ver excited about – is that the school’s Director of Education (and Certified Yoga Calm Instructor) Wendy Handrich will be hosting us at their beautiful new facility in Oconomowoc for our first Summer Intensive outside of Oregon, to be held the last week of August.

Encompassing all three of the basic Yoga Calm workshops, the Summer Intensive is our favorite time of the year. We get to share our life’s work with interesting people from all over the world who come together for one basic reason: We care about children and want to give them the tools to be successful and happy in their lives. We find strength and inspiration from our growing Yoga Calm community. Knowing that there are so many talented and passionate professionals working together gives us hope. And that’s the real gift of the Summer Intensive: finding that we are not alone in our belief that we can create a positive future for our children and ourselves – a future that includes joy, love and beauty.

And now, with our first Intensive outside of Oregon, it will be much easier for those in the Midwest and points east to gather and learn the entire Yoga Calm curriculum. Located just 30 miles west of Milwaukee, Oconomowoc is also home to a serene retreat center within walking distance of the school – a perfect location to renew and learn.

As ever, graduate credits are available for the course, and this brings us to one more bit of good news we’d like to share. The new accreditation from Alverno State College brings us to a total of 5 colleges and universities that have accredited Yoga Calm courses (the others: Portland State University, Colorado State University, Lewis & Clark College and St Mary’s University). No other children’s yoga program has done that before!

To learn more about the Intensive program, click here.

To register for the Wisconsin Intensive (August 21-27, 2011), click here.

To register for the Oregon Intensive (June 23-29, 2011), click here.

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