Children who are blind or otherwise visually impaired can face limited options in group sports, difficulty feeling comfortable in their bodies, and concerns about personal safety. In 2004, a teacher at James Otis Elementary School decided to address these challenges, and teamed up with The Peace School to design a program geared toward students whose daily lives are affected by visual disabilities.
Self-Awareness Through Self-Defense is the brainchild of those efforts, providing first through eighth graders at Otis with self-defense training in conjunction with Peace yoga practice. During the program's previous incarnations, experienced Peace School instructors poured defensive moves and stretching and breathing exercises into young minds and muscles over the course of eight-week periods. Blind or visually impaired students paired up with sighted children, and the teams helped one another to master each movement. Graduates emerged from self-defense training with improved body awareness and orientation abilities, while breathing and yoga work taught them skills to reduce stress and diffuse aggressive situations. Self-Awareness Through Self-Defense was funded from 2004–2005, and recently won partial endowment to continue the program. Sessions began this January, but The Peace School requires more help to complete funding for the eight-week course.
Join G-Team and donate $10 to sponsor blind and visually impaired students, and their sighted partners, in Self-Awareness Through Self-Defense training. If G-Team members raise $500, the 8-week course can continue completely funded.
All G-Team donors are invited to see the Otis students perform what they learned in Self-Awareness Through Self-Defense, at a demonstration taking place at The Peace School on North Lincoln Avenue on Friday, March 25 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Afterward, meet the instructors and learn more about volunteering with future Peace School projects.
Unlike traditional Groupon deals, G-Team campaigns typically don't offer you a "discount" or "savings." So "buyer" beware—when you click "Buy" to donate your time or money to a worthwhile G-Team cause, the only discount you may receive is 100% off free, priceless karma. Read more about G-Team.
The Peace School
A nonprofit educational organization, The Peace School promotes tranquility of mind, body, and spirit through yoga, tae kwon do, and meditation courses that welcome students of all ages. Originally established in 1972 by Grand Master Myungsu Y.S. Kim, the school has been recognized by the United Nations, developed senior and nursing-home programs, and helped establish Peace Day, an annual Chicago celebration of peace and cultural institutions.
At the school, a coalition of experienced instructors—all of whom have trained for at least 10 years—leads students in three levels of yoga, traditional tae kwon do, and other exercises. Group practice, discussion, and lectures divulge the fundamentals of peace breathing meditation, while a hands-on self-defense for women class opens up discussion of attitude, confidence, and safety issues. Massage classes emphasize acupressure technique and deep breathing, while courses in infant massage can help babies sleep better.