4H Jaya Program
Eighteen migrant boys and girls, ages 6 to 12 years old, participated in the first ever 4-H Jaya Program through an after school program collaboration with the Penn State Extension Chester County 4H Program and the CCIU Migrant Education Program at the Nottingham Elementary School in Oxford. Jaya is a yoga Sanskrit word meaning “victory”.
During the four week program held on Thursdays in January and February, a team of 4-H staff and volunteers actively and enthusiastically engaged the students in nutrition lessons, yoga, tai chi, team sports and stories read out loud. Students responded well to yoga and, were attentive as a result of basic breathing and stillness held in postures. The 4-H Up For the Challenge curriculum includes activities that reinforce good nutrition, health and fitness and, was used in developing program delivery.
Program outcomes include:
- To encourage youth to be physically active
- To introduce to youth the basics in fitness & training, yoga & meditation, dance & the expressive & cultural arts
- To develop self esteem through practice and proficiency
- To introduce to youth good nutritional choices and, healthy snack food choices
- To create a program partnership of organizations and programs which promote healthy living and life styles.
The student evaluations reflected that the 4-H Jaya program was a positive experience and that the youth learned new knowledge, that a new understanding of the ancient practices of yoga and tai chi was gained and, that this was a program to continue. As a result of the 4-H Jaya program, the potential of health and wellness program outreach has taken seed in reaching children and youth. The next 4-H Jaya program is planned in collaboration with the CCIU Migrant Education Program at the Avon Grove Intermediate School beginning in March. The 4-H Jaya program received support from the Dansko Foundation and the YMCA of the BrandywineValley/Jennersville Branch.