SCHOOL Kids Yoga Story
As the founder and CEO of SCHOOL, Inc., Kelly Wood has pioneered the integration of secular yoga and mindfulness methods in public schools with as much support for teachers as children. Kelly opened Karuna Yoga studio in Los Angeles in 2002. Quickly, adults attending Kelly's classes asked if it was possible for her to teach in their child's school classroom. Kelly gained a welcoming entry into the neighborhood public school and began teaching weekly classes to children and their teachers in the classroom, reaching more than 1,000 children per week. Kelly's commitment to nurturing positive social, emotional, and academic development in young children and teachers culminated in the creation of SCHOOL, Inc. as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit in 2012. Considered an expert in her field, Kelly has taught more than 225,000 children and 700 public school staff in Los Angeles Unified, Pasadena Unified, New York City Department of Education and more school districts across the country. With extensive experience in the academic setting, the one-of-a-kind SCHOOL Kids Yoga Program is designed to enhance learning in youth and educators while meeting Common Core State Standards.
Kelly Wood has taken the traditional basis of yoga and meditation and created the SCHOOL Kids Yoga Program with her own songs, methods and foundational terms. SCHOOL Kids Yoga is much more than a physical program. The physical, mental, emotional and social well-being of students and teachers is addressed and nurtured. As the SCHOOL Kids Yoga methods and terms are threaded into classroom culture, the ground for greater learning in academics and life is strengthened.
SCHOOL BOARD of DIRECTORS
CEO & FOUNDER (E-RYT 200, RCYT, RPYT)
Kelly Wood, founder of Smiling Calm Hearts Open Our Learning, Inc. (SCHOOL), has been teaching yoga and mindfulness techniques in public schools for over 17 years. Kelly is a certified yoga teacher with expertise in kids yoga and yoga adaptations for public school settings, an experienced teacher trainer, and a former studio owner with more than 25 years of experience in the practice. Kelly has vast experience as a business owner—growing a successful studio in Los Angeles from the ground up. Today, in addition to heading up SCHOOL, Inc., she runs an innovative online yoga teaching platform that offers recorded and live-streaming yoga classes and trainings. She holds a B.S. in Marketing with a minor in Philosophy from Clemson University, as well as a B.A. in Art History with a minor in Philosophy from Georgia State University. Her professional career includes years with Blackbaud MicroSystems, Deloitte Consulting and Deloitte & Touche LLP.
DR. NICOLE A. FABRIS-CARRAL
A pediatrician at Glendale Pediatrics and mother of two girls. Nicole completed her Bachelor's degree in Biology and Spanish, UC Berkeley and then attended New York Medical College. She completed her residency training at Children's Hospital Los Angeles. A yoga practitioner herself, Nicole recommends yoga to her young patients, especially for weight issues, concerns of anxiety, and focus.
DR. Y. JANE TAVYEV
Y. Jane Tavyev, MD is Director of Pediatric Neurology at Pediatric Services at Cedars-Sinai. She is board certified in Neurology with Special Certification in Child Neurology. Dr. Tavyev is a member of several professional societies including the American Academy of Neurology, the American Neurological Association and the Child Neurology Society. Her clinical and research interest was in the area of autism.
DR. IRENE LARA
A practicing psychotherapist for more than twenty years, Dr. Lara's dissertation was entitled: Integrating Aspects of Yoga into Play Therapy. She has also worked as a Psychiatric Social Worker (School Counselor) for the Los Angeles Unified School District, Mental Health division for fourteen years. Dr. Lara is a graduate of UCLA where she received a Masters in Social Welfare.
Laura is CEO of GreenWood, Inc. which provides integrated Maintenance, Construction and Production support services to plants and facilities. As a second generation member of the Wood family who started the GreenWood business in 1990, Laura brings more than 20 years of extensive operations and administrative management experience to the company. Laura leads by example with a hands-on style of customer-centered and employee-dedicated management as established by the company’s founding members.
A certified legal professional for the past 20 years, in 2011 Laurie was honored as the recipient of the E. W. Mullins, Sr. Paralegal Pro Bono Award for her commitment to pro bono service. In addition to her service to those in need, Laurie's greatest passion is that of mother and role model for her son. As a student of yoga and a cancer survivor, Laurie generously gives to her community. She volunteers with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's First Connection Program, Hands on Greenville, Meals on Wheels and Wills for Heroes which prepares wills for police officers and their family members free of charge. Laurie received her BS in Financial Management from Clemson University.
ROSA WHITE, Director of Communications
Rosa is a marketing communications and project manager who has worked primarily in financial services organizations that include Northwestern Mutual, Union Bank, Northern Trust, and in recent years, in the employee benefits industry. She is an accomplished, results-driven professional with expertise in strategic planning and organizational branding. Rosa earned an MBA from the University of Phoenix, a BS in Business Administration from Mount Saint Mary’s University, and a Professional Designation in Personal Financial Planning from UCLA Extension.
ANNIKA IHNAT, Director of Digital Marketing
Annika is a marketing communications consultant, certified yoga teacher and Accessible Yoga ambassador. She is dedicated to helping health and wellness-oriented nonprofits and businesses connect with target audiences — and ultimately, increase donations and sales. Her expertise includes prospect research, grant writing, fundraising, email marketing, digital and print marketing materials, social media and sales. Annika aims to make the tools and benefits of yoga and meditation available to as many people as possible. She holds a B.A. in Communication Studies from UCLA and has completed 500+ hours of yoga teacher training.
SCHOOL Awards & Recognition
Kelly was awarded the 2013 Yoga Activist Award by the celebrated Moksha Festival of Los Angeles. Chosen from over 1,800 yoga teachers, she was recognized for her tireless effort teaching children and educators in LA County public schools. She has also received numerous certificates of recognition for volunteer service from LAUSD and PUSD schools. Kelly recently collaborated with Jane Tavyev Asher, M.D., Director of Pediatric Neurology at Cedars-Sinai Medical Hospital, to demonstrate the benefits of yoga for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder.
SCHOOL, Inc. is currently partnered with Pasadena Unified School District through 2021 to train all PUSD educators as part of the Pasadena Trauma-informed Care Initiative funded by UniHealth Foundation. The SCHOOL Kids Yoga Program is approved in a growing number of school districts including Los Angeles Unified, Pasadena Unified, New York City Department of Education, Michigan, and Ohio.