Read-Alouds, Yoga Help Prepare Ossining Pre-Kindergarteners for School

Park School Assistant Principal leads pre-kindergarten students and their parents in a mini yoga class in late August.

Ossining’s Park School gave pre-kindergarten students and their families several opportunities to meet before school started, offering read-alouds and a mini yoga class.

They met on Zoom Aug. 17 to listen to a story called “I Am Enough.” On Aug. 19, they gathered in Nelson Sitting Park for several books, including “The Three Little Pigs” and “El pez Arcoiris” (“The Rainbow Fish”).

On Aug. 20, families practiced yoga in the park with Assistant Principal Melisa Stoller, a certified instructor. Everyone wore a mask and practiced social distancing.

Park School, which educates children in pre-k and kindergarten, offered the programming to build relationships with families and help them feel comfortable in the district.

“We were thrilled to meet our new students and families with new ways to connect,” Ms. Stoller said. “Their faces just reminded us of the importance of being connected more than ever. Relationships matter and they are the base of the work we do.”

Ms. Stoller guided everyone through a number of poses: table, cat, cow, downward-facing dog, mountain, tree and more. The tree pose was challenging, but some parent-child teams were able to maintain their balance by holding hands.

Leslie Centofanti and her son, Brandon, wobbled a little but supported each other during the tree pose. “I am so impressed that they were able to do this,” Ms. Centofanti said after the class.

Brandon said he was excited about going to school, learning new things and making friends.

Bryan Martinez and his son, Lorenzo, who are in the foreground, participate in an activity for rising pre-kindergarteners. Behind them are David Smith and his son, Zeke.

Bryan Martinez, who attended with his son, Lorenzo, said it was a nice experience. “It gets him acclimated to not being in the house all day,” he said. “It gets him used to seeing other kids again, finally, and meeting some of the teachers that he might be dealing with.”

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