Vernon Davis praised the Redskins FITT program, launched by the Washington Redskins Charitable Foundation, which has been made a big influence in the community since starting in September.
Growing up in Washington, D.C., Vernon Davis always loved being active. It was almost impossible for Davis to get enough – he always wanted to do more. Davis's work ethic in training is a big reason why he has been able to have a long and successful career in the NFL, which is why he's supportive of passing on that knowledge and passion to today's youth growing up in the Washington, D.C. area.
Davis took to the podium Wednesday at Redskins Park to show his support for Redskins FITT, a youth health and wellness program that was created and launched by the Washington Redskins Charitable Foundation (WRCF). FITT - which stands for frequency, intensity, time and type - focuses on the four key components of physical activity for youth.
Three key elements of the program include:
TheFITTbook which serves as the in-school curriculum piece for all DCPS 7th graders. Each DCPS 7th grade student received a copy of the interactive workbook which includes lessons on physical activity, nutrition, and cognitive development.
FITT Videos are monthly instructional fitness videos that feature Redskins players and coaches and health & wellness experts. Each video highlights key components from the FITTbook that teachers and students can reference during in-class instructional time and at home.
FITT Workshopsfeature a visit from the Redskins FITT staff who lead activities focusing on physical activity, nutrition, and cognitive development. Participating schools have the opportunity to request two FITT Workshops during the course of the 2016-2017 school year.
"With this Redskins FITT program, I feel like it's imperative the D.C. public school system implements this because it can be vital for the kids, and the kids can go home and share this with their families and they can make a huge impact in their household," Davis said Wednesday.
WRCF is partnering not only with Redskins players such as Davis, but also the American Diabetes Association and the D.C. public school system to make an impact on middle school students across the District. Redskins FITT has already visited 21 of the 29 public middle schools and education campuses in the D.C. public school system.
"The players, as Mr. Davis said, are role models to these kids," said Kathy Burk of the American Diabetes Association. "And in middle school? That's a very vulnerable age. I think having the players be supportive and demonstrate the need for healthy living, exercise, healthy choices, I think that's very important in getting the message across."
Also in attendance Wednesday was John Davis, the chancellor of D.C. Public Schools, who stressed the importance of Redskins players acting as role models for the kids.
"To hear their stories, and hear the things they've overcome, it's always good stuff," the chancellor said. "The FITT program – we push a lot of physical education and not just rolling out the balls, but doing something meaningful. That's what the FITT program really does. It makes them think about rules, think about nutrition and think about tracking themselves so they're on pace for being fit."
The FITT program, which launched in mid-September, has impacted more than 1100 7th grade students in DCPS.