EAST HARLEM, Manhattan (PIX11) – Every September, going back to school after the summer break is a stressful time for thousands and thousands of children and their parents.

But now, East Harlem community leaders are trying to put the fun back into learning. A back-to-school community event was all about stretching your body and stretching your mind so that young people are in tip-top shape for reading, writing and arithmetic this fall.

“You get a dose of happy when you move,” said Zumba instructor Tiffany Remedee Holt.

The event was organized by the new nonprofit Aspyn’s Horizon. It included a giveaway of backpacks, books and boots, and it was all about how to relieve stress during this stressful back-to-school time. There were even lessons in breathing deeply.

“Breathe in for seven counts, hold it for two and breathe slowly out,” said Eboni Hinnant, a mindful living educator.

Pedro Munoz, Food4Thought podcast host, added that he had nothing like this event when he was growing up in the South Bronx. “This is a good, positive environment,” he said.

There were also games, arts and crafts, and a sense of community in the El Barrio garden on East 117th Street, and that was the point.

“Growing up in this neighborhood, and with everything we’ve been through with the pandemic, we want a celebration that we are back out,” said Jenice Zayas, founder of Aspyn’s Horizon.

Ainsley Taylor, a 7-year-old, had a great time at the event and said that his favorite part of school is doing homework.