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JODI'S In The News

Inside Chappaqua & Inside Armonk3/16/15

On Behalf of the Dirks Family: “Support Tremendous” at Jodi’s Gym Read full article here! Following up with the initial and highly successful Chappaqua Cares/Chappaqua Shares effort to establish a Scholarship fund for the Dirks Family, Jodi’s Gym opens its facility to all for additional support. By Matt Smith Family and friends came out in droves …

Inside Chappaqua & Inside Armonk

3/16/15

On Behalf of the Dirks Family: “Support Tremendous” at Jodi’s Gym

Read full article here!

Following up with the initial and highly successful Chappaqua Cares/Chappaqua Shares effort to establish a Scholarship fund for the Dirks Family, Jodi’s Gym opens its facility to all for additional support.

By Matt Smith

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Family and friends came out in droves to support the family of Chappaqua resident Robert Dirks, whose memory was honored at a fundraising event yesterday at Jodi’s Gym in Mt. Kisco. Dirks was one of six casualties of the tragic Metro North train accident that occurred in Valhalla on February 3.

The idea for such a fundraiser came about while gym owner Jodi Rosenwasser Levine was browsing through the Chappaqua Moms Facebook page. “I was deeply saddened [by the news], as everyone was,” Levine said, and “looking for a way to help. Everyone was saying, ‘What can I do? What can I do?’ and I said, ‘I can hold a fundraiser through the gym.’” Resident Dawn Greenberg–co-founder of Chappaqua Cares, Chappaqua Shares–caught the offer and not only praised Levine for the gesture, but joined her in making it a reality.

Greenberg, who began her organization in November 2014 as a way to get Chappaqua residents involved with giving to those in need, saw the opportunity as one to allow residents the chance to give back. “This community is so caring and so giving,” Greenberg said. “But sometimes, it’s frustrating to figure out exactly how to do that effectively….[so] we give people an outlet. We thought this was a great event ‘cause it would allow kids to bring their playmates and have fun and just enjoy the day.”

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The two sent out a notice via the Facebook page offering to hold a fundraiser for several of the families who were impacted by the crash; the Dirks family accepted the offer. “[Jodi’s Gym] didn’t burden us with anything,” says Jason Ueda, uncle to Robert’s children, Owen (5) and Phoebe (2). “They said, ‘We’ll take care of it.’”

Ueda also added, as a testament to the Chappaqua community, that “the support has been tremendous” and the family is very appreciative. “Everyone has been respectful and thoughtful and [has made] all aspects of this [tragic event] less stressful.”

The family continued to feel this support during the event as well, which took the form of an open gym, where guests could play on the balance beam, swing on the gymnastic rings, bounce in the bouncy castle or trampoline, or slide on the slide. Additional activities included face painting and arts and crafts. The staff also prepared a food room, made up entirely of donated goods from local businesses, including sandwiches from Quaker Hill Tavern, cupcakes from The Pastry Corner, a decorative fruit platter from Susan Lawrence, and pizza from Bellizzi. The afternoon ended–as all kids’ events should–with bubble popping and a parachute game.

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Echoes Jessica Reinmann, co-founder of Chappaqua Cares, Chappaqua Shares, of the overwhelming response: “I think it’s a testament to the community that so much money has been donated and people are so willing to help.” Adds Ueda, with a slight chuckle, “If [the family] had stayed in Queens, I don’t think they would have gotten this type of response.”

On behalf of the community, Levine states that “our thoughts and prayers are with the immediate family of the Dirks and all the families who were affected by the MetroNorth crash.” The Dirks family also wishes to personally thank Levine for organizing the whole event, all the proceeds of which will benefit a scholarship fund for Dirks’ children. “We’re so happy the Dirks could come,”said Levine. “It gives the day an extra special meaning for us.”

Jodi’s Gym is located at 25 Hubbels Drive in Mt. Kisco, NY. www.jodisgym.org

Matt Smith is a longtime Chappaqua resident, who graduated from Skidmore College last Spring, with a degree in Theatre and a Minor in Creative Writing. This was his first assignment for the Inside Press, Inc.

914 Inc11/15/14

2014’s Women in Business Leaders Jodi Levine: Women in Busines honoree We asked all of this year’s Women In Business nominees to tell us about the best piece of advice they’ve ever received—and how they’ve used that advice in their careers. Here’s what they had to say: “Trends come and go but if you stay …

914 Inc

11/15/14

2014’s Women in Business Leaders

Jodi Levine: Women in Busines honoree

We asked all of this year’s Women In Business nominees to tell us about the best piece of advice they’ve ever received—and how they’ve used that advice in their careers. Here’s what they had to say:

“Trends come and go but if you stay true to what you believe and what you know best, your business will survive and thrive.” –Jodi Rosenwasser Levine, Founder/Owner, Jodi’s Gym

Kiwi Magazine8/3/14

4 New Ideas for Getting Fit Together   If you’re looking for the secret to more active kids, we’ve found it: you! A recent study from British researchers revealed that when Mom exercised more, her kids did, too. Want to get moving as a family? Try these games from Jodi Rosenwasser Levine, mom and founder …

Kiwi Magazine

8/3/14

4 New Ideas for Getting Fit Together

 

If you’re looking for the secret to more active kids, we’ve found it: you! A recent study from British researchers revealed that when Mom exercised more, her kids did, too. Want to get moving as a family? Try these games from Jodi Rosenwasser Levine, mom and founder of Jodi’s Gym in New York City.

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mama {love} NYC3/20/14

mama {love} NYC Fave: PLAY- Jodi’s Gym Read the full article here! If you’re on the UES and looking for a great gym class for your little one, Jodi’s Gym is the place to be. The incredibly spacious, colorful gym will entice crawlers to kindergartners to budding gymnasts, boasting trampolines, slides, balance beams, rings, uneven …

mama {love} NYC

3/20/14

mama {love} NYC Fave: PLAY- Jodi’s Gym

Read the full article here!

If you’re on the UES and looking for a great gym class for your little one, Jodi’s Gym is the place to be. The incredibly spacious, colorful gym will entice crawlers to kindergartners to budding gymnasts, boasting trampolines, slides, balance beams, rings, uneven bars, and even a bouncy house. The activities center around the gym, but Jodi’s also incorporates music and art with combo classes. Other options include birthday parties, camps, open play, and playgroups. We tested out the Mighty Muscle Movers class for the 18-24 month set and were beyond impressed with all that was jam-packed into the 45-minute session. The group of tots could not wait to get into the gym. Led by an enthusiastic and engaging instructor, the kids began with free play, followed by circle time, and then were lead through a circuit of of balancing, stretching, and jumping activities. Then came parachute play and the ever-popular bouncy house, topped off by bubbles and stamps. Jodi’s Gym is the perfect weekly class for your toddler or after-school activity for your big kid to get active and explore. Look out for Jodi’s Gym’s new revamped website this week. New families enjoy 10% off summer classes and camp if you register by 3/26/14 and mention “MamaLove” when enrolling.

Wag3/4/14

Leading the Way to Kids’ Fitness Written by RONNI DIAMONDSTEIN Link to the article  Childhood obesity is exploding in our country. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it has more than doubled in children and tripled in adolescents in the past 30 years and has immediate and long-term effects on health and …

Wag

3/4/14

Leading the Way to Kids’ Fitness

Written by RONNI DIAMONDSTEIN

Link to the article 

Childhood obesity is exploding in our country. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it has more than doubled in children and tripled in adolescents in the past 30 years and has immediate and long-term effects on health and well-being.

The causes are clear – poor diet and a lack of exercise. Kids are glued to their assorted electronic devices or sitting in front of a television for hours each day. Despite the availability of a variety of food year-round, less-than-healthy fast food is often on the family menu.

The crisis has spurred leaders ranging from former President Bill Clinton to first lady Michelle Obama to Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant to act.

Which is great news to Jodi Levine, owner of Jodi’s Gym in Mount Kisco and Manhattan, who’s been getting kids moving for more than three decades.

“Finally, the world is catching up with what I believed in,” she says. “I’m happy to see it’s become more mainstream. Kids need good role models.”

Practicing what she preaches has never been a problem for the woman who offers gym classes to kids ranging in age from 9 months to 12 years.

“I was always an active child, climbing trees and playing outside,” says Levine, who started gymnastics at age 12. She went to Indiana State University on an athletic scholarship and competed in gymnastics on a national level.

After earning a master’s degree in industrial psychology in 1980, Levine didn’t want to do anything sedentary, so before finding what she calls a “real job in real life,” she started teaching gymnastics in New York City.

“I got so much from gymnastics. It’s a well-balanced sport. It helps you to be strong, flexible and have good balance.” She also says it increases body awareness, motor skills, strength and coordination.

“I loved kids and I loved gymnastics and I had a vision that little ones could benefit from gymnastic classes that were just for fun,” says Levine, who started Jodi’s Gym in Manhattan in 1982. “Gymnastics improves their focus and concentration and builds their self-confidence. Exercise in general has so many advantages for kids. They feel less stress and feel good about themselves.” She says other benefits are improved self-esteem and body image. “And it improves their sleep.”

Levine ran parent/child classes that were then called “Mommy and Me” for toddlers and children up to 3 years old.

“The moms thought it was amazing. It was a really fun, positive introduction to movement. I wasn’t trying to make their children gymnasts and they were walking away thinking it wasn’t hard. It was just pure fun.”

Activities like the “Teeny Tumblers” class where 9- month olds wiggle and giggle and “Mighty Muscles Movers” – where kids up to 3 years old run, jump, tumble, swing and stretch – give kids a building block for exercise and movement. And Levine adds that the activities in her classes also provide children with early exposure to the “mind-body connection,” the interaction of the physical, mental and emotional aspects of the human experience.

Levine expanded her horizons in 1999 after she moved her family up to Westchester County.

“I couldn’t find a Jodi’s Gym model for my own children, so I decided to open a branch in Mount Kisco.”

Today there are even “Jodi’s Gym to Go” programs where she brings classes to other sites like preschools.

“Get your kids moving at an early age, and it will become a habit for good health,” Levine says. Little steps for more activity can be taken each day. “My kids always laughed, because I parked the car in the farthest spot in a parking lot.” And she has good advice for parents on finding activities that their children will like. “The worst thing you can do is force them to do something they hate. That will turn them off and they won’t want to do anything.”

Levine says it’s important to know your children and respect them for who they are and find the right match of an activity for each of them.

“Kids learn through play and just need to have some unstructured playtime. Let them climb a tree and swing.”

And she says organized sports aren’t for every child. “If they burn out too soon, they can risk physical injuries and they shouldn’t have to be compared to others.”

She encourages parents to be a role model by setting an example and recommends planning active family vacations. “Some of our best vacations with my two children were when we were skiing or on a bike trip.”

Levine touts the total wellness benefits of being active and says that exercise and eating well go hand-in-hand. For Levine, to move is to have fun. “It’s just not worth it if it’s not fun. Find something you truly enjoy.”

She is pleased to see a second generation at Jodi’s Gym when former students bring their children to her classes. “They learned it, they loved it, and that means everything to me.”

You Plus 2 Parenting3/3/14

28 Days of Play An Interview with Jodi Levine   We recently interviewed Jodi Levine, founder & owner of Jodi’s Gym for the 28 Days of Play project. We are thrilled to share her perspective about why play may feel hard for some parents.  Jodi Levine is in the business of kids fitness & movement …

You Plus 2 Parenting

3/3/14

28 Days of Play

An Interview with Jodi Levine

 

We recently interviewed Jodi Levine, founder & owner of Jodi’s Gym for the 28 Days of Play project. We are thrilled to share her perspective about why play may feel hard for some parents. 

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Jodi Levine is in the business of kids fitness & movement education, but she also understands the importance and power of play.  As the owner of the Upper East Side institution Jodi’s Gym, Jodi pioneered the concept of parent & child gym classes nearly 32 years ago when she decided to bring all of the joys, benefits and fun of gymnastics to NYC children without it having to be a competitive sport.

Over the years, Jodi and her staff have coached thousands of children (ranging in age from 9 months-12 years,) through cartwheels, handstands, and somersaults, helping them to develop and improve their skills while fostering a love for fitness & movement.  More importantly however, Jodi has provided a space for children to PLAY!  Says Jodi: “In our programs, we provide opportunities for kids to be playful and explore.  We do not believe that imparting skills alone is in the best interest of our students.  Our youngest classes offer a healthy and happy blend of  play and instruction. We provide an environment that allows for both.”

When asked about her personal philosophy of play Jodi replies “Play is essential to a child’s social, cognitive, emotional, and physical development.  It is a child’s job to play!!!  Children learn most about their world when they are playing.”  Jodi believes that the unstructured opportunities that children have in her gym to play & explore, to use their bodies, discover their strength and to do it with their parent’s involvement is of utmost importance.  She notes that a child is more engaged when a parent or caregiver is fully present, interacting with their child, and leading by example….Read the full article here!