Campus & Community

FitNuts!

2 min read
Drew Chronister '01 offers encouragement to Brady Skyler as he does a set of push-ups. Kids are evaluated throughout the program by the Harvard students, who measure weight, height, flexibility, and endurance. Physical fitness evaluations are based on tasks like running, push-ups, and sit-ups. Psychological and nutritional evaluations are assessed through written tests. Feedback from the program and from parents provides additional valuable information.

Helping kids get fit for life is the goal of FitNut, a fitness and nutrition program run by Harvard students as part of Project HEALTH, a specal project of the Institute of Politics, Boston Medical Center, and BankBoston. Nine boys and nine girls are involved in FitNut, which is divided into a girls¹ program and boys¹ program. Both groups meet twice a week for two hours at the Reggie Lewis Track & Athletic Center and Madison Park Community Center in Roxbury.

Brady Skyler, 10, of Boston, reluctantly reads his nutrition paper for Chronister.

The kids spend half their time exercising and the other half learning about a nutritional topic. FitNut encourages kids to make healthy decisions regarding exercise and food, and helps build their self-esteem in a positive and supportive environment. A pediatrician, dietician, and physical fitness specialist are available to help the volunteers tackle specific questions and provide a strong foundation for teaching the kids valuable skills. The boys and girls, most of whom are referred to FitNut by their doctors at Boston Medical Center, enter the programs in September and continue through the end of April.