The Fit Youth Initiative (FYI) is a community center collaboration aimed at bettering the nutrition and health of youth through fitness programs and nutrition education. FYI is currently offered at four partner sites: East Madison Community Center, Goodman Community Center, Kennedy Heights Community Center, and Vera Court Neighborhood Center. FYI aims to increase the level of activity and the consumption of healthy foods by offering consistent, intentional, evidence-based fitness and nutrition programming for children ages 3-18 and their families.
To expand its reach and engage more youth, FYI launched FYI Purgolders in 2018. FYI Purgolders is a sports-based youth development program that uses sports to facilitate learning and life skill development in youth. FYI Purgolders is a developmental program and provides a low-cost opportunity for 4th-8th grade youth to participate in team sports.
Why FYI Purgolders?
There is a shortage of equitable opportunities for youth to participate in team sports; kids who don’t make school teams or elite travel teams are often left behind, instilling thoughts that can lead to them checking out of sports. FYI Purgolders addresses this community need for equitable opportunities for sports participation.
The FYI Purgolders program integrates best practices for positive youth development: academic support, community service, nutrition education, and positive life skill development alongside athletic skill development and serve as a feeder program for East High School.
As a feeder program for East High School, FYI Purgolders connects community and school systems. In line with the sports-based youth development model, sports act as a “hook” to engage youth, but the emphasis is on life skill development over athletic skills.