woman exercising with chair

Healthy and Safe Children Director Nicole Kettermann hosted virtual Fit and Fun at the Y classes, which teaches kids how to live healthier lifestyles.

Children enrolled in Fit and Fun at the Y, thanks to generosity of the Children’s Board of Hillsborough County, went virtual after schools closed due to COVID-19.

“As much as it is in our power, we wanted to support our school system and assist with the distance learning process,” says Sarah Hays, Executive Director of Before and After School Enrichment. “In addition, so many parents have communicated their need for the continuation of virtual programming and the fact that the YMCA can provide a familiar face brings some normalcy to their child’s life during this very difficult time. This is truly a team effort with many community partners coming together to tackle our children’s social, emotional and educational needs.”

Healthy and Safe Children Director Nicole Kettermann hosted Zoom calls with families so their children could still benefit from the Fit and Fun at the Y program, which teaches kids how to live healthier lifestyles.

“When everything first started we sent out a Home Activity Challenge through email. Once we knew things were going to stay shut down for much longer, we knew we needed to stay connected with our kids and families. I, then, started calling all our families to check in and see if they might be interested in a virtual Fit and Fun program,” Nicole says. “I found most of the parents I was able to speak with thought it was a great idea. We knew the Y Reads! program was having success with Zoom, so I looked into the Zoom concept and then created “Fit and Fun Express.”

About 16 families participated at three different times daily for about half an hour. Kids enjoyed interval training exercises - like jumping jacks, mountain climbers, squats and reverse lunges – strength training with weights, water bottles or canned food and cool down time including yoga. As a reminder to eat healthy, Nicole also engaged the kids in fun activities like scavenger hunts for food groups, measuring cups or spoons and nutritional labels.

“The goal was for the kids who logged in at least twice a week for the four-week program would receive a goody bag mailed to them,” Nicole says. “At the end, a couple of parents got on the call as well and were very thankful and appreciated the outreach and for the program overall. They really loved the extra help and support in keeping their kids mindful of staying active and learning about nutrition.”

Thanks again to the Children’s Board of Hillsborough County for generously funding Fit and Fun at the Y.