Fitwize Family

A Nonprofit Youth Development Leader

Fitwize 4 Kids is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization focused on youth development through integrated fitness, nutrition, life skills, and leadership training. The mission of Fitwize is to empower youth by increasing self-esteem, building a healthy lifestyle, and implementing proper nutrition habits that improve their physical, emotional, and social health outcomes.

Fitwize 4 Kids is a leading South Florida healthy lifestyle fitness center provider just for kids. Fitwize 4 Kids operates a specialized youth gym and life skills center. This center offers unique youth programming through an innovative curriculum that combines fitness, nutrition, life skills, and leadership training in an engaging educational format. This curriculum also includes antibullying and antidiscrimination components and is delivered by certified instructors. The Fitwize center is a welcoming place for all children to participate in out-of-school programming that increases their interest and engagement in healthy activities focused on their physical fitness, nutritional knowledge and behaviors, emotional and social intelligence, and character building.

Addressing Youth and Family Wellbeing

Fitwize 4 Kids addresses the physical and emotional health challenges children, families, and communities face. Specifically, Fitwize works to decrease risks and problems in youth by promoting their physical, emotional, and social health. Childhood inactivity and obesity are increasing. According to the Florida Youth Risk Behavior Survey, 60.7% of youth did not participate in at least 60 minutes of physical activity per day for 5 or more days a week, 45.3% played videos, computer games, and/or used their computer for three or more hours daily for nonschool purposes, 23.3% watched television three or more hours a day, and 53.2% did not play on at least one sports team. Only 14.7% of youth consumed three or more servings of vegetables a day, only 31.3% consumed two or more servings of fruit per day, 29% ate fast food three or more times per week, and 17.5% consumed soda one or more times per day. 14.2% of youth are overweight, and 10.9% of youth are obese. With respect to emotional health, according to the same survey, 27.8% of youth felt sad or hopeless for at least two consecutive weeks, 14.1% of youth purposefully hurt themselves, 13.8% considered suicide, 10.7% of youth had a suicide plan, and 7.6% attempted suicide.
Low-income families and communities frequently face additional challenges. These include the cost of children’s participation in extracurricular activities, organized sports, and health club membership. In addition, many low-income families and communities are healthy food deserts without fresh and nutritious food options. Consequently, low-income children are least likely to have access to needed physical activity and nutrition. Fitwize 4 Kids believes that fitness, nutrition, and life skills training are essential for physical and emotional health. Fitwize recognizes that this programming and training should begin as early in the lifespan as possible to establish positive and adaptive health habits and lifestyles. Accordingly, Fitwize has developed and employs specialized youth fitness, nutrition, and life skills programming that engages children, their parents, and families. Fitwize programming focuses on the whole child and youth development in an integrated manner with holistic attention to the body, mind, and spirit. Programming and services are offered by certified trainers and instructors in a facility with youth designed equipment and materials. Fitwize 4 Kids is committed to providing programming to all children including those in at-risk, special needs, low socioeconomic, and minority groups. Fitwize offers services to all youth including those with existing health risks (i.e. obesity, diabetes, depression, anxiety), those who are among special needs populations, those who have been bullied or have adverse childhood experiences, and those who are from low-income and at-risk families. Fitwize serves children, parents, and families regardless of socio-economics, gender, race, ethnicity, spiritual beliefs, and sexual orientation. Annually, Fitwize 4 Kids serves over 3,000 youth with distinct integrated programming that is often unavailable within other children services settings .

Offering Specialized Programming

Fitwize Youth Life Skills Building is administered through a documented structured curriculum that includes sessions on social skills, character building, emotions management, self-regulation, motivation, decision making, problem solving, conflict resolution, time management, and leadership. This curriculum, delivered by certified instructors, covers personal hygiene and proper etiquette. Fitwize life skills programming encompasses field trips for practical learning and application as well as family events for parent engagement and participation. Fitwize 4 Kids Youth Fitness Training includes personalized physical fitness education, coaching, and sports conditioning designed to improve children’s strength, agility, flexibility, and balance. Through this programming, youth are engaged in physical fitness activities and exercises including on equipment designed for children. Accordingly, youth are assisted with developing individual exercise and weight management plans to maintain long-term. This training is coupled with nutrition education, coaching, and meal planning so youth develop healthy eating habits. Delivered by certified trainers, this programming decreases health risks and increases health outcomes in children along with boosting youth’s sense of achievement, self-confidence, self esteem, and discipline. Fitwize 4 Kids Youth Anti-bullying Programming is delivered based on the specially developed Bully Magnet curriculum to decrease and prevent bullying while promoting youth heroes. This curriculum covers defining bullying (including cyber-bullying), teaching respect, empowering children, responding appropriately, and following positive role models. Programming, provided by a bullying prevention expert, teaches children self-discipline and anti-discrimination in an effort to “bully proof” youth. This curriculum addresses understanding, acceptance, and inclusion. Children completing the program receive certificates and dog-tags that reinforce self-confidence and reporting bullying activities. Fitwize 4 Kids develops youth’s positive physical and mental habits, building their adaptive functioning, confidence, and resilience. Fitwize enrolled youth regularly participate in scheduled structured physical, nutritional, and emotional health education and fitness activities to harness their energy, increase their knowledge and skills, and improve their well-being. Fitwize programming is offered for up to four hours afterschool Monday through Friday and up to two hours Saturdays.

Having a Community Impact

Fitwize 4 Kids tracks youth completing programming to measure service outcomes. With respect to fitness and nutrition training, 100% of participating youth achieved their individualized program plan goals. With regard to leadership development and character building, graduating youth obtained academic and employment success. As Fitwize has provided fitness and nutrition training to several pre-diabetic children, 80% of this youth cohort have achieved healthy weight management. Furthermore, Fitwize 4 Kids has served special needs children with individual and group training, and 100% of their parents reported improvement in their child’s response and mobility.