Decatur Education Foundation partners with local gym to build confident studentsPhoto provided by Fitwit
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The Decatur Education Foundation and FitWit, a local group fitness gym, have partnered together to give five students from the DEF membership program free FitWit Kids classes, according to FitWit.
Aiming fit the needs and interests of all kids, FitWit Kids uses a combination of games and workouts to build confidence, strength and endurance while also encouraging teamwork and healthy choice-making.
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Launched in 2016, the program also features theme-related games, like navigating obstacle courses while pretending to be lost animals at the zoo or dressed as their favorite superheroes.
“I try to have as much fun as possible,” FitWit Kids programming director, Renell White, said. “It makes exercise more palatable for kids.”
According to FitWit, this non-competitive, community-focused approach inspired their partnership with the DEF, an organization which emphasizes the importance of removing obstacles preventing youth from realizing their full potential.
Each of the five students in the DEF mentorship program attend classes each Wednesday at the gym’s College Avenue location.
“When I first started taking the kids to FitWit, I noticed one boy did not join the others and he seemed hesitant to fully participate in the conversation and activities,” Marie McCollum, DEF Mentor Program Coordinator, said.
Now, that initially reluctant student is the most excited to go each week, she said.
“FitWit Kids’ focus on teamwork and encouragement has noticeably increased his confidence,” McCollum said. “Having something he does with the other boys in the program has helped him forge previously non-existing bonds with his peers. That’s huge.”
Offered for kids any age from 5-17 years old, FitWit Kids offers classes for different age groups Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursdays after school as well as Saturdays.
“I look forward to taking the mentees each week. Their excitement before and after FitWit is the best,” McCollum said. “I love listening to them hope for dodgeball and playfully challenge each other on the drive there and then hear their recap and praise for each other on the way back.”
The partnership between FitWit Kids and DEF is ongoing, and, according to FitWit Owner, Josh Guerrieri, FitWit is “open to other local partnerships as well.”
“We love finding new ways to connect with the community and connect the community to fitness,” he said.
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