Let’s Play: Making Physical Fitness a Priority in Afterschool


Students who are physically active tend to have better grades, school attendance and cognitive performance, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. This, on top of maintaining a healthy and strong body, is one of the reasons why physical fitness is a priority in afterschool.

“Physical fitness helps reduces the risk of developing chronic diseases and reduces feelings of depression and anxiety,” says Cheryl Adkins, program director of YouthQuest. “But above that, it is a way for students to play and have fun!”

YouthQuest staff lead various clubs that promote physical fitness. For example, at Holmes STEM Academy, students participate in a club called Taylor’d Athletics where they practice strength and endurance training with lead learning guide Shalana Taylor. Additionally, at Dye Elementary, learning guides run the Just Do It club that keeps students engaged and moving while teaching the importance of sportsmanship.

At International Academy of Flint and Flint Community School sites, students also have access to a large offering through the Community Education Initiative led by Crim Fitness Foundation. This partnership allows students to participate in physical activities and club sports including soccer, basketball, volleyball and cheerleading.

“We are so appreciative of our partnership with Crim,” says Adkins. “Our employees are passionate about ensuring our students stay physical after day school hours.”

YouthQuest is made possible through the generous support of the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation and 21st Century Community Learning Centers.

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