How to Have a Healthy Heart

Fit Kids Conversation with Matthew Levy

Soon after the Buffalo Bills’ Damar Hamlin suffered a scary cardiac arrest incident on Monday Night Football, Fit Kids spoke to Matthew Levy, MD, a cardiologist, who explained the incident and provided perspective on heart health for kids and the adults responsible for them.

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The Mind-Body Connection

A conversation with Toni Mar

Beloved University of California, Berkeley Physical Education faculty member Toni Mar (M.S. in Kinesiology), has taught yoga, conditioning, and the mind-body connection at Cal for more than two decades.

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Willie Banks: Fitness and Focus

A Conversation with Willie Banks

As a child, Willie Banks was so restless/energetic/hyperactive that his parents sought professional help. Here, the 3-time Olympian and world-record holder in the Triple Jump explains how physical activity helped solve his childhood challenges.

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How Fitness Training Develops the Whole Child

Youth fitness is about more than just developing strength, skill, stamina, agility, and athleticism. Done right, a structured youth fitness program like the one Fit Kids offers can develop the total child, helping kids integrate their minds, bodies, and spirits.

So says Dr. Andrea Ettekal, assistant professor at Texas A&M University’s Applied Youth Development Initiative.
In this video conversation, Dr. Ettekal explains:
  • The overall value of out-of-school time as an opportunity to develop the total child
  • How physical fitness contributes to students becoming integral individuals and developing character
  • How coaches, administrators, volunteers, and other adult leaders in sports and fitness can leverage these opportunities
  • The unique challenges faced by children in underserved communities and those who have endured either acute trauma, such as abuse, or the longer-term traumas of poverty or systemic oppression
  • An understanding of how “failure” – even experienced while competing with oneself in a youth fitness program – helps children learn how to succeed
  • The importance of fun as a component that helps children gain all the benefits of a quality youth fitness program.

Fit Kids & Social-Emotional Learning

Many schools and community centers considering a Fit Kids partnership wonder about our organization’s take on social-emotional learning. Social-emotional learning has become one of the most important components of education, especially in light of how the pandemic affects children and their overall school and community center environments.

A pilot collaboration to introduce Fit Kids into Chicago Public Schools from Spring 2021 through Spring 2022 brought together Mary Rosenwinkel, Health Partnership Specialist for Communities in Schools of Chicago, with David Jacobson, Director of Program Growth and Communications for Fit Kids.

The two recently chatted about the social-emotional learning aspects of the Fit Kids program, which was available to 11 Chicago Public Schools, serving 2,114 students. In this eight-minute video they reveal how social-emotional learning opportunities are baked into the Fit Kids program, how some students intuitively respond to those opportunities, and how teachers and coaches can capitalize.

Even though the Fit Kids curriculum is not loaded with social-emotional-learning-speak, the program organically imparts lessons in resilience, confidence, determination, teamwork, and leadership.

Avellino, Fit Kids Team Up to Equip R.O.C.K Students

The good people of Avellino, providers of COVID tests and other medical products, recently invited Fit Kids to participate in a team-building event. At the end of an afternoon of bonding, six teams of Avellino employees faced off in a skateboard design and building competition.

That contest was spirited to say the least. Team members showed all the grit of Fit Kids youth participants navigating an obstacle course! The result was six beautiful, handmade skateboards gifted to Fit Kids, along with helmets, pads, and tools.

During the skateboard gift presentation, Avellino employees were thrilled to learn that their handiwork would land in the hands (and under the feet) of kids who otherwise would not have access to skateboard equipment.

Fit Kids determined the best home for the skateboards would be R.O.C.K. (Real Options for City Kids) in San Francisco. The organization and its students showed extreme gratitude for the gift from Fit Kids and Avellino, which R.O.C.K Marketing and Development Manager Hayley Walker called “a game-changer.”