|FIT for Life|
Friends-in-Training for Life (FIT for Life)
Learning healthy habits early in life is critical for lifelong health outcomes. And that is why the Urban League of Greater Chattanooga (ULGC) has expanded its health outreach programming directly to at-risk children in our community. The Friends-In-Training for Life (FIT for Life) program was launched to reduce the prevalence of obesity and diabetes among urban youth by offering fitness and nutrition classes to children in grades 3-5 and their families. The program currently operates at Woodmore, Clifton Hills and Rivermont Elementary Schools using the Take Ten curriculum and a host of enrichment providers: Basketball, West African Dance and Drumming, the Creative Discovery Museum, Fitness Instructors and organized games. In years past, the program operated at East Lake, Calvin Donaldson, Clifton Hills and Orchard Knob Elementary Schools.
Get FIT Classes led by certified instructors are held at to encourage the children in the ULGC afterschool program to maintain at least 30 minutes of physical activity daily.
Eat Healthy, Eat Local Sessions are held for the children that incorporate weekly circle time discussions focused on the importance of healthy food choices, nutrition/fitness journaling, and field trips to farms and farmer’s markets. Nutritionists from Hamilton County Schools Coordinated Scool Health support the program by offering nutrition counseling and healthy eating suggestions to families and participating students.
Families Together: Move More, Eat Better are sessions that encourage healthy lifestyle changes among the entire family by incorporating working out, nutrition classes and cooking classes. Classes are being planned for 2013.
Health Screenings and Education are offered through the ULGC’s Community Health Navigator program. Participants are provided with health coaching on the issues that plague their community such as hypertension, diabetes, heart disease and obesity. Hamilton County Schools Coordinated School Health has supported screenings and education by facilitating student assessments and helping to provide education in the school served by the Urban League. Our intake and assessment tools have been designed in partnership with the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.
Community Gardens were established in the four target urban neighborhoods (Orchard Knob, South Chattanooga, East Lake and Emma Wheeler Homes) where participants learn to improve access to fresh produce and healthy eating choices. The gardens are being launched with several partners participating in the Benwood Foundation’s Gaining Ground initiative http://growchattanooga.org/home .
The programs above served 786 children and 418 adults in the 2011-2012 fiscal year.
Supported by Tennessee Department of Health, the Benwood Foundation, and Hamilton County Schools Coordinated School Health.