If you want a rainbow, you must have the rain

Laughter League shares the power of laughter with Dallas City of Learning, Learning Partners and Beyond!

Laughter LeagueTo celebrate and honor the powerful impact joy and laughter can have on our social and emotional well being, we are highlighting a long-time Dallas City of Learning/Big Thought Learning Partner – The Laughter League.

Founders of The Laughter League, Tiffany Riley (Slappy) and Dick Monday (Monday) have been performing, educating, and helping children in pediatric hospitals for the past twenty years. They have been Learning Partners with Big Thought and part of the Dallas City of Learning network for more than 12 years. 

They bring education through laughter to kids across the DFW Metroplex and beyond based on the belief that Laughter is FUNdamental. 

Laughter can help give you more energy, and lower your stress, relax your muscles, reduce stress hormones, build your immune system, reduce pain, lower your blood pressure, help your heart and lungs work better — and when you find a way to laugh, you can see hope! 

The University of Michigan School of Medicine explains:

“Your mind and body are powerful allies. How you think can affect how you feel. And how you feel can affect your thinking…An example of this mind-body connection is how your body responds to stress. Constant worry and stress over jobs, finances, or other problems can cause tense muscles, pain, headaches, and stomach problems. It may also lead to high blood pressure or other serious problems…

Research shows that what your brain produces depends in part on your thoughts, feelings, and expectations. If you’re sick but you have hope and a positive attitude and you believe that you’ll get better, your brain is likely to produce chemicals that will boost your body’s healing power.”

Humor also benefits learning:

Humor activates the brain’s dopamine reward system, stimulating goal-oriented motivation and long-term memory, which means that humor can improve retention in students of all ages. (Edutopia)

Partnering with Dallas City of Learning/Big Thought, The Laughter League has been able to provide Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) aligned programs to more than 50 Dallas ISD schools. Some of their programs include: The Science of the Circus, Bully Proof – How To Be an Upstander, Count on Comedy Math Show, and The Magic Storybook.

Slappy of Laughter League“Big Thought has been a great partner to help us connect with Dallas ISD schools. They do a good job of promoting the programs in the Dallas City of Learning network and we are proud to be a longstanding Learning Partner of the program,” said Tiffany Riley, co-founder of The Laughter League.

The Laughter League has been helping kids learn and heal through the power of laughter for decades. Their work continues to be essential as so many of us are struggling to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic and the impact it has made on our social life, schooling, work, economy, and anxiety.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, The Laughter League had to quickly pivot to a virtual learning model. Here is some advice they have for educators and parents based on what they’ve learned this summer:

  • Keep learning groups small and switch activities frequently to keep remote learners engaged.
  • Programs that have a tactile component to go with digital learning can be powerful. For example, we started a ‘Camper in a Box’ program where we provided items such as juggling scarves or books that coincide with our virtual programs and the kids loved it!
  • Take the time to find joy and laughter even in the midst of this crisis – you can get through this rain and there is a rainbow on the other side! 

Check out this video The Laughter League produced in partnership with Cook Children’s Medical Center for some inspiration! 

So, where can your kids engage in a Laughter League event next?

They will be hosting a series of Circo Metropolis Pop-Up Experiences sponsored by the Moody Fund for the Arts. Circo Metropolis is a one-day event that will be reproduced in multiple neighborhoods. The goal is to excite kids about the magic of circus skills by conducting a free morning workshop that engages kids in learning juggling, balancing, plate spinning and physical comedy.