According to Yogi Squad Executive Director Brooke Blankenship,
“Yogi Squad offers yoga and mindfulness classes through virtual, on-demand yoga videos for kids and families. Communities Foundation of Texas’ North Texas Giving Day amplifies our impact each school year so we can continue to educate and equip kids with life-changing tools throughout the year.
“The organization’s roots stem from my work as an elementary school librarian and teacher. I experienced firsthand the dynamic and unforgiving struggles that my students and their families faced daily. Learning is an impossible task when your basic needs are not being met. The need for improvement in the overall well-being of students was so evident, I began incorporating yoga into my library classes, through the introduction of poses sequenced with children’s literature. My classes were so successful, I knew I had to share this work with more children.
“Daily life is filled with activities, meetings, and routines that usually leave us little time to decompress. Our children’s lives are much the same. Stress from social situations, academics, sports, sibling relations, and family obligations all directly affect our children. If unmanaged, stress becomes toxic and compromises the development of the brain, which can affect focus, decision-making, and learning.
“Stress also leads to anxiety. According to the CDC, about 5.8 million children in the United States are currently diagnosed with anxiety. Anxiety often exists as fear or worry in children, and causes a host of other symptoms, including fatigue, headaches, stomachaches and restless sleeping. Behavior issues are often one of the first signs that a child may be experiencing anxiety or stress, although some children show no signs whatsoever because they’ve learned to internalize fears.
“This information is alarming, but has also created an opportunity for us to bring positive changes to our local community and beyond. Since our start in 2018, we’ve laid out more than 15,000 yoga mats for children in the DFW area, and across the world with our digital content. With the rise of technology, on-demand yoga videos have become an increasingly popular way for families to maintain a healthy lifestyle from the comfort of their own homes. Yogi Squad’s incorporation of video content into our program is a testament to our commitment to making yoga accessible to all.
“Communities Foundation of Texas’ North Texas Giving Day serves as a vital fundraising opportunity for Yogi Squad, providing us with the resources we need to continue offering children’s classes and video content throughout the school year. By participating in this event, we’re able to amplify our impact and reach more children who may not have had access to yoga otherwise.
“Through our school programs and accessible content, Yogi Squad not only promotes physical health but also emotional and mental well-being. By introducing children to yoga at a young age, we are instilling healthy habits that last a lifetime.
“Yogi Squad’s dedication to providing kids yoga classes and virtual videos is a valuable resource for the Dallas-Fort Worth community. Our participation in North Texas Giving Day is crucial to our mission of making yoga accessible to all children and their families, regardless of their financial situation.”
* Photo credit: Amber Shumake ** Graphic/photo provided by Yogi Squad *** Photo credit: Jerry Murray
In 14 years, Communities Foundation of Texas’ North Texas Giving Day has pumped more than $503 million into the North Texas community. In 2022, more than $62.6 million was raised through 94,385 donors benefiting over 3,210 area nonprofits.