Moving Day® Chicago is the Parkinson Foundation’s signature fundraising event, celebrating the importance of movement in a united fight to beat Parkinson’s disease. The event features a family-friendly 2-mile walk, kids’ area and the unique Movement Pavilion where instructors demonstrate Parkinson’s-friendly exercises, all of which have been proven to help manage the symptoms of the disease.
Our team of Alexander teachers, including trainees from Alexander Teacher Training in Chicago (ATTiC), will offer brief lessons at the pavilion table and at two Poise Tune UP! stations on the walking course, as well as sharing handouts, fielding questions, and collecting contact information for The Poise Project's future programming with participants with Parkinson's and their families and friends.
Executive Director Monika Gross launched The Poise Project® in 2016 as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit to promote and bring greater accessibility to AT for new populations at all socio-economic levels. The first initiative, "AT for Parkinson's" was awarded a $25,000 regional grant from the Parkinson's Foundation Moving Day® Community Grant program to deliver AT-based classes for care partners of people living with Parkinson's disease at six sites in Gross's state of North Carolina. The Poise Project is collaborating with AT teacher Dr. Rajal G. Cohen at her University of Idaho Mind in Movement Laboratory to measure outcomes of their AT and Parkinson's projects.
In the past year, The Poise Project brought a team of 18 people to the 4th World Parkinson Congress in Portland OR in September 2016, including people with Parkinson's and their care partners who had benefited from AT training, and AT teachers with expertise in the field or with science or allied health background. The Poise Project exhibited at the October 2016 Michael J Fox Foundation Partners in Parkinson's event at the Javits Center in NYC. The Project also fielded teams to give AT mini-lessons at "Poise Tune UP!" stations at San Francisco, San Jose, NC Triangle and Boston Moving Day® walkathons, and led numerous presentations for Parkinson's support groups across North Carolina.
The Poise Project has also led specialized AT for PD teacher trainings in London, Portland, San Francisco and San Jose, delivered a plenary at the April 2017 International Alexander Teacher's Convention in Dublin, delivered presentations to AT teacher training programs, and continues to make vital connections with decision makers and forward thinking advocates in the PD field in both the US and the UK.