On-Site with Gabriel Anguiano, Coordinator for the A.L.A.S After School Program

Fit Kids: Tell us a little bit about yourself. Where are you from? Do you have any kids? What’s your favorite physical activity?

Gabriel Anguiano: Native of East Palo Alto & East Menlo Park. I was born here in the States, parents are from Sonora, Mexico & Michoacán, Mexico. Now I reside with my wife and four children in Newark, CA. My favorite physical activity is playing football, soccer, softball and working on my cars. Also, coaching sports on my free time as a volunteer.

FK: Tell us about Willow Oaks.

GA: Willow Oaks is literally considered to be my second home. As a child I attended Willow Oaks School in the early ’80s, have had my children, nieces and friends attend Willow Oaks School, as well. As our staff, students, parents, volunteers, and partnerships would say (#WFL) “Willow For Life” sums it all up.

FK: What is your role there?

GA: I began working at Willow Oaks School in the Fall of 2003. I’ve worn a few hats throughout my journey at Willow Oaks School, which all began as the Technology Instructor/Staff Support, Librarian, sports coach, parent, volunteer and now the coordinator for the A.L.A.S After School Program.

FK: What are the student demographics?

GA: Hispanic/Latino, 81%
Polynesian, 9%
African-American, 8%
Other, 2%

FK: Tell us about your partnership with Fit Kids.

GA: Fit Kids and the A.L.A.S after school program have had a great relationship since the beginning. The program has been here for seven years and counting. Fit Kids is currently serving about 40 K-2 student, totaling 240 minutes of structured physical activity per week within the extended school day.

FK: Why is Fit Kids important to Willow Oaks and the after school program?

GA: Fit Kids is important at our site, for many reasons. The program has focused in educating and coaching our children on the importance of proper stretching, teamwork and communication at an early age. All with the use of good coaches/leaders, up-to-date PE equipment and a structured curriculum from the beginning to the end of program.

And last but not least, at the end of each year of the program, it is all summed up at Children’s Champions, where Fit Kids Coaches, staff, volunteers, funders, corporations, and professional, semi-pro and college athletes take their time and hang out with our children and families within our community surroundings.

The event incorporates Fit Kids fitness activities, face painting, art & crafts, picture booths and great food, healthy drinks and snacks from our community’s stores and restaurants. Each child leaves the event with a great memory of someone that they just met and a bag filled with all sorts of healthy goodies.