February 12, 2015 — Families participating in our Early Childhood and Parenting Program (Home-based with Socialization/HBS) smiled, giggled, and guffawed during a laughter workshop, part of the Building Bridges initiative. The goal of Building Bridges is to create community for mothers who might be otherwise isolated, to improve their self-esteem and to foster a sense of empowerment. The workshop teacher, a yoga instructor who specializes in laughter therapy, led the group through a series of exercises to help them relax and connect with each other.
The Building Bridges initiative was started 15 years ago by HBS Program Director Inginia Garcia. The women in the group are actively involved in giving ideas and making decisions about the kinds of activities they want the program to encompass. The group liked the idea of a laughter workshop because they felt it would relieve stress and bring some warmth to the cold winter day.