About the Author
Info about Robert Toporek
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- Certified Advanced Rolf Practitioner
- President/Founder of TeamChildren
Author Robert Toporek is a Certified Advanced Rolf Practitioner; he studied directly with Dr. Ida P. Rolf the last four years of her life and apprenticed with her son Dick Demmerle from whom he says," I learned far more than I could have ever imagined."
Robert managed all of Dr Rolf’s final classes. In January of 1978 Robert provided Dr. Rolf with the opportunity to establish the validity of Rolfing for babies and children. Together they created The Children’s Project, which has now evolved into a non profit organization TeamChildren. Robert with the support of his housemates and friends in Philadelphia, found the babies and children involved in the project, housed and fed the small group of participating Rolfers, raised the funds and after Dr. Rolf’s death, published a monograph and an award winning video documentary entitled “The Promise of Rolfing Children.” Since that time Robert has continued to expand working with babies, children and whole families. He has Rolfed and documented over 300 families and began Rolfing his son, Bryan, the first day of his life.
Robert now is committed to teaching other Rolfers and body workers what he has learned and expanding this valuable program around the world. Robert has also worked with children with a variety of developmental challenges including, autism, seizures, cerebral palsy, scoliosis and down syndrome, spina bifida, and ADHD. Roberts goal is to find a way begin massage and Rolfing with these children in the very beginning. Robert has also Rolfed people like Ed Bacon the former city planner for the city of Philadelphia, Professor Raymond Dart the anthropologist that discovered the link between apes and humans, Peter Malkin one of the men responsible for capturing Adolph Eichman, and a number of leading athletes from Philadelphia: Mark Howe a Hall of Fame hockey player, Jon Runyan, Irving Fryer, and Chris Go Cong.
Robert has also helped over 4,000 other men women and children improve their posture, relieve chronic pain, turn stress into energy and vitality, and transform their lives.
Robert is also a decorated Vietnam Veteran. He was among the first Army ground combat troops deployed to Vietnam in 1965 and served with Company B, 205 infantry, 173rd Airborne Brigade. He was awarded the Bronze star with V for valor, The Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry with Palm Leaf, and a Purple Heart.
Robert volunteered to serve a 2nd tour of duty and was selected to be the non commissioned officer in charge of his battalion’s civil affairs program. He was responsible for a crew of soldiers that dramatically improved the well being of the families in the refugee camp outside of their base camp. His crew built two schools, a health center staffed by volunteer doctors, a Boy Scout lodge. A play ground, they fed an orphanage, and every Saturday took families to volunteer Army dentist. Robert also taught English to the children of the refugee village they were working in. By the end of his 2nd tour he was promoted at 19 years old to the rank of Sergeant E-5.
After his return to South Carolina Robert attended college at both the Citadel and The College of Charleston. He also worked in poverty programs one year teaching adult illiterates in the city how to read, do math, fill out a resume and go on job interviews, the second next year he worked with families in rural areas of South Carolina. In 1971 he was awarded a Fellowship from The Ford Foundation to study methods and techniques of personal growth and its relationship to public education.
He went to Esalen Institute in Big Sur California where he was trained to lead Gestalt therapy and encounter groups. This is where he also discovered the power of touch and was first Rolfed.
Before he was accepted into the Rolfing training, he returned to South Carolina and ran for public office four times. Once for City Council, twice for The State House of Representatives and once for the State Senate. While he was not elected he did manage to impact the dialogue of politics in South Carolina. The following year he spent in San Francisco studying with Oscar Icazzo’s Arica Program. Then off to become a Rolfer.
In 1997 Robert organized a group of volunteers to take the benefits of Rolfing and massage to one of the worst drug riddled neighborhoods in Philadelphia, the cornor of 9th and Indiana. They began by Rolfing children on the sidewalk. The project then began distributing books, art materials and then computers. and they even built a playground. This began Robert's effort to expand his work with impacting education and poverty throughout the region and around the world.
Now Robert is leading a worldwide effort to combine the benefits of touch with today’s technology to dramatically advance early childhood growth and development. He worked for three years with The ASPIRA of PA network of Charter schools and The Institutes for the Achievement of Human Potential to demonstrate the validity of using the Institutes program in public education. Robert is now expanding that to other public school programs.
Robert is the president and founder of TeamChildren, a non-profit organization.
TeamChildren has evolved into a multifaceted effort to improve the lives of all children. Their Digital Initiative has distributed over 11,000 low cost refurbished computers to families, schools and organizations throughout the nation. Robert is now working with brillkids.com, awelearning.com, iahp.org, and sparkpe.org to bring early childhood development and brain research together with technology and make that available to every parent worldwide, regardless of their economic status.
Robert’s son Bryan graduated 2nd in his high school class, graduated Georgetown University with a major in English, a minor in linguistics and interarts. He is now an online news editor for a major educational publication and writes a blog, Schooled in Sports.