'Pilates in the Schools(TM)' at St. Philip's Academy, Newark, NJ Saturday May 3, 2008; 1 - 3 pm

NEWARK, N.J., April 29 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Pilates Day was created by the PMA to bring awareness to the many benefits that Pilates provides to every age group, and to promote healthy living. Pilates Day 2008 features the PMA's groundbreaking exercise initiative 'Pilates in the Schools' at St. Philip's Academy in Newark, New Jersey.

(Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20080429/CLTUD120 )

The 'Pilates in the Schools' program, aka PITS, was created by the PMA in an effort to create an opportunity for children to experience the mental, physical, intellectual and emotional fitness benefits inherent to Pilates. The PITS program's goal is to bring Pilates to children, teachers and parents by providing affordable and accessible Pilates education programs to schools. A special protocol of Pilates exercises appropriate for children has been developed after extensive research. In addition to St. Philip's Academy, PITS Pilot Programs are now taking place in a number of cities around the US including Del Mar Elementary School, Santa Cruz, CA and in the Torrance Unified School District in Los Angeles County.

Participants experience numerous benefits including increased lung capacity, improved circulation, increased strength and flexibility, along with muscular and mental coordination, improved posture, balance, and core strength. Bone density and joint health also improve, and many experience positive body awareness for the first time.

The PMA invited St. Philip's Academy to host a PITS Pilot Program for their 5th grade class. St. Philip's Academy is an independent, inner city K-8 school that provides a rigorous moral and academic curriculum for capable students in the Greater Newark area regardless of their family's ability to pay tuition.

"We were delighted to be invited to participate in this initiative," said St. Philip's Academy's Head of School, Miguel Brito. "Health and wellness is central to our holistic teaching philosophy, and this is a wonderful opportunity for our students."

Leading the classes at St. Philip's is Marggi Vangeli, a PMA-Certified Pilates Teacher (PMA-CPT(TM)) and PMA Board member a local New Jersey studio owner. The program runs for 12 weeks culminating in the celebration of Pilates Day 2008 on Saturday, May 3, 2008 where the children will demonstrate an abbreviated Pilates mat class to community members, parents and invited guests and dignitaries.

"I love Pilates! Some of the moves are difficult at first, but then you adapt and become stronger and stronger," said Damon McCasker, fifth grader, adding he loved learning a different kind of exercise outside of the typical sports that are usually taught.

A DVD has been created to help promote Pilates in the Schools and contacts are being made with local, state, and federal agencies to help create additional awareness. For more information on this initiative, please email Rob Ickes, PITS Coordinator, at [email protected]

For more information on Pilates, please read the PMA's position paper. http://www.pilatesmethodalliance.org/pmapositionpaper_on_pilates.pdf

The Pilates Method Alliance(R) (PMA(R)) is the international, not-for-profit, professional association dedicated to the teachings of Joseph H. and Clara Pilates. The PMA's mission is to protect the public by establishing certification and continuing education standards for Pilates professionals. www.PilatesMethodAlliance.org

PMA, PO Box 370906, Miami, FL 33137 866 573 4945 x 203

Elizabeth Anderson, Executive Director

St. Philip's Academy Founded in 1988, St. Philip's Academy is an independent, inner city K-8 school that provides a rigorous moral and academic curriculum for capable students in the Greater Newark area regardless of their family's ability to pay tuition. www.stphilipsacademy.org

St. Philip's Academy, 342 Central Avenue, Newark, NJ 07103 (973) 624-0644

Miguel Brito, Head of School

SOURCE Pilates Method Alliance

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