Our Values: Inclusive, Scaling Up, and Community
As an organization serving kids who represent a variety of ethnicities and socioeconomic backgrounds, this month following the death of George Floyd has been one for clarifying what we believe. You may feel the same. Many parents in our community are once again having to raise their voices to protect their children, well-being, and livelihoods. We stand with this community.
We would like to share with you the focus behind our mission.
Functional fitness confers many cognitive and physical benefits, but our vision goes beyond that. We create a space where kids can feel seen, heard, and valued; where their emotions and opinions are valid; where they can learn to serve and lead in an environment that builds them up physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
We serve a wide demographic of kids, but our focus is on the southern sector of Dallas. Our kids at J.N. Ervin Elementary School and soon-to-be Kennedy-Curry Middle School face startling statistics:
Average household income below $20,000
Highest mortality rate in the county for diabetes and lung disease and fourth highest for heart disease
4.6 Community Need Index score (out of 5)
According to a study by the Dallas County Health Department and Parkland Hospital.
Kids in wealthy (predominantly white) neighborhoods have more access to these kinds of programs and they do not commonly deal with issues like economic oppression, crime, and housing insecurity. It is unconscionable to us, as an organization, that the kids who need these programs the most are the ones with the least access.
We “scale up” in two ways:
1. Our healthy movement is adaptable for kids with different levels of fitness.
2. Through partnerships with Dallas and Richardson ISD and community organizations like Dallas Afterschool, we are positioned to scale our programs for maximum impact.
With your help, we empower students to overcome the obstacles to education and health in their community by strengthening their minds, bodies, and community spirit. Our aim is to improve kids' neurological fitness (their ability to focus on and take in new information) by challenging them with intense aerobic exercise (relative to their own fitness level), and incorporating balance, coordination, and agility training. We conclude every session with circle time where we share stories from the day and talk about making healthy choices for the mind and body.