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Miami-Dade Parks' bettering the lives of Miami-Dade County youth with nationally-acclaimed "Fit2Play" and new "Fit2Lead" after-school programs

MIAMI (July 19, 2016)

As part of its ongoing efforts to improve the lives of Miami-Dade’s youth through its award-winning parks system, the Miami-Dade County Parks, Recreation and Open Space Department invites parents to enroll their kids, ages 6-14, in its “Fit2Play™: Health, Wellness and Obesity Prevention” after-school program. The nationally-acclaimed and proven program is designed to help them discover the “fun” in fitness and develop healthy habits for a lifetime.  Kids will stay fit and thrilled with fully-supervised activities focused on fitness, nutrition and wellness, and developing their appreciation of nature, science and the cultural arts.

In addition, Miami-Dade Parks introduces its new “Fit2Lead Youth Enrichment & Sports (Y.E.S.)” program for youth, ages 12-14, at select sites. The program, the first of its kind for the County parks system, is presented in collaboration with the Department of Juvenile Services and local universities. Its aim is to empower at-risk youth through sports and recreation - with life and leadership skills toward personal, academic, career, and citizenship goals. The program is one of Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez’ priorities and is supported by his office through a $3M grant. Fit 2 Lead also serves as a stepping stone to Miami-Dade Parks’ internship programs for teens ages 15-17.

Miami-Dade County Parks’ Fit2Play™ after-school programs will be held, Monday - Friday, from 2 - 6 p.m., from August 22, 2016 through June 9, 2017, throughout the school year and school vacation breaks, at 31 Miami-Dade park locations.  Registration begins on August 1.

Fit2Play™ program fees range from $25-$35 per week, depending on the chosen program and location. Qualifying families can receive financial aid.  Miami-Dade County Parks also offers transportation from select schools to select Fit2Play™ park sites, for an additional charge, making the program all the more convenient for parents.  

Miami-Dade Parks’ Fit2Lead after-school programming is offered free of charge during the regular school calendar year, Monday - Friday, 4 - 7 p.m., at 12 county parks. Transportation (from the student’s school to the park) and meals are included. The program provides participants with: • A Safe Place • Learning & Exploring • Life Skills to Empower • Sports & Fitness • Health & Wellness • Fun & Games. 

“After-school programs like Fit2Play™ and Fit2Lead are essential to our children’s physical and emotional health and are providing them with safe and positive outlets for activities. I highly encourage parents to enroll their students in the Parks Department’s highly effective programs, so they begin embracing a heathier lifestyle and be better focused for the school year,” said Mayor Gimenez.

“We are proud to provide Miami-Dade families with truly transformative and successful resources for their children.  Our Fit2Play™ program is a national model and a proven tool in fighting childhood obesity and the new Fit2Lead program utilizes proven strategies to help at-risk teens realize their potential and build pathways toward a brighter future,” said Miami-Dade Parks’ Chief of Planning and Research, Maria Nardi.

With the summer break coming to a close, parents will begin preparing their children for the new school year and getting back to a regular routine. In addition to the scholastic swing of things, “outdoor physical fitness time” should be part of every child’s routine if they want to be healthy and fit for the classroom and life.

Launched in 2005 as a health and wellness solution for children living in Miami-Dade County, Miami-Dade County Parks’ Fit2Play™ is a partnership with the University of Miami (UM) Miller School of Medicine and is a national model that helps children maintain healthy weight, lose excess weight and learn good nutrition. 

For more information about Miami-Dade Parks’ Fit2Play™ after-school program, including a listing of participating parks, visit the web page or call 3-1-1. 

For more information about Miami-Dade Parks’ Fit2Lead after-school program, visit the web page.  

Fit2Play™ partners and sponsors include: AvMed; National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA); Santa’s Enchanted Forest; The Parks Foundation of Miami-Dade; and The Assurant Foundation.

Miami-Dade Parks is a world-class parks system supported by the Parks Foundation of Miami-Dade and focused on Placemaking, Health and Fitness, and Conservation and Stewardship.