The FitWit Foundation provides free fitness programs that build strength and develop character for young people who need it most, aiming to empower them to live healthy and successful lives. The organization’s vision is a future where all young people belong to a community committed to fitness which supports them to believe in themselves and strive to be their best every day.
In 2005, the husband and wife team of Josh and Erin Guerrieri taught and coached in city schools of Atlanta. In addition to a lack of resources in the schools, they noticed an alarming absence of a positive peer community.
For anyone who grew up playing sports, this type of support network in the community is often a familiar one – teammates and coaches encourage you, push you, count on you and believe in you. In contrast, for students without the opportunity to play sports, this type of community support is often missing
Josh and Erin sought to fill this gap by running afterschool fitness (Fit) and tutoring (Wit) classes for their students. They created a place to meet new people, do fitness activities and build relationships. This is when The FitWit Foundation was born.
Since 2008, Ben has led The FitWit Foundation in carrying out its mission of providing free fitness programs that build strength and develop character among the young students who need it most. Programming locations have included Atlanta Public Schools (APS), City Schools of Decatur, The Boys & Girls Clubs of Atlanta and Zoo Atlanta.
In addition to providing shared equipment, trainer access and fitness resources, FitWit, LLC donates 3 percent of each member’s monthly membership fee to The FitWit Foundation through its Live Fit, Give Fit model. The FitWit Foundation relies on individual donations and proceeds from annual fundraising events, such as the End of Year Banquet and Pushup Throwdown event, to provide the remainder of funding needs.
The flagship program, FitWit Club, is listed as one of the afterschool resources in Georgia Shape’s Power Up for 30 Resource Guide given to all trained Power Up for 30 elementary schools. The program is designed to benefit students who are not already involved in sports at no cost to the school or student. Each club session is administered by trained volunteers with a school staff member serving as a club advisor.
FitWit Clubs meet two times per week and include a team building activity, warm up, workout, cool down, journaling session and healthy snack. This fall, there will be FitWit Clubs in four APS middle and high schools with a goal to run 25 total FitWit Clubs by 2018.
“We are excited and looking forward to providing FitWit Club to more schools who have signed the Power Up for 30 Pledge and desire to empower their students through physical activity,” said Megan Gilroy, executive director of The FitWit Foundation.
For more information on The FitWit Foundation please visit, www.thefitwitfoundation.org.