STOTT PILATES® Certified Instructor Cathy Whitt is helping kids stay fit with the Growing Healthy Kids program, which promotes healthy eating and exercise to at-risk youth.
Run through the Holy Cross Hospital’s Community Outreach Department in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, the Growing Healthy Kids program brings Cathy into schools to teach kids Pilates. “I teach a standing program because of the space,” she says, referring to the limited floor space in the classrooms where she teaches. Cathy leads the kids through Pilates moves they can do while standing, helping them learn about the benefits of exercise while building up strength and endurance.
Growing Healthy Kids kicked off in 2007, with a grant from the Health Foundation of South Florida. Initially launching into five lower income parochial elementary schools and focusing on nutrition, it has expanded to include distance Pilates sessions with classrooms of kids online and an after-school Pilates program. During the summer, when school is out, the program moves to a local park, where kids can come for a free lunch, and stay for a roster of activities throughout the afternoon. Twenty-five students showed up to Cathy’s latest outdoors Pilates class, she says.