Welcome to the FIT for Kids website!

FIT (Food Initiative Taskforce) for Kids is an innovative model that empowers youth and adults to make a difference in their neighborhoods and communities by participating in garden-based education. The FIT for Kids model and its diverse programs and initiatives has been developed by the LSU AgCenter, and is supported by a wide range of collaborators.

You will find on this website, information about several programs and initiatives that are working together to make a very real difference in the lives of participants. The FIT for Kids model can be expanded to create other garden-based learning centers. We hope you will find something here to get excited about.

The FIT for Kids model and its programs are part of the larger effort to create a Healthy Regional Food System in the ArkLaTex.  That effort is the We Grow Together! campaign, and we invite you to visit that website for more information about exciting projects and opportunities:  www.wegrowtogether.org

And for even more information and discussion:  https://www.facebook.com/wegrowtother   Be sure to like us!!!

Let’s make a difference!

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Recent Happenings

Much is happening with the FIT for Kids program! To learn more about current events, check out the “FIT Youth Programs” and the “Veggie of the Month” . You will see the many ways we are making a difference in our community!

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Fall 2011

On Thursday, September 22, 2011 volunteers from the LSU AgCenter gathered at Valencia to greet the new and returning youth participating in the after school garden and nutrition program! We had a breif instructional session on tool and garden safety and then walked with the kids down to the garden. Four groups picked different beds and helped clear out weeds. When we were done in the garden we walked back up to the classroom and showed the kids what different seeds look like.

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Summer 2011

This summer the FIT for Kids and the Urban Youth Farmer Program both met at Valencia Park Community Center to learn how to grow their own food and then cook it. The FIT for Kids also focused on learning about healthy food systems and food deserts. They ended their program with a Taste-a-thon, where four healthy recipes they had learned to make over the summer were shared with the community. The Urban Youth Farmers consisted of 6 teens that worked a quarter acre urban farm and orchard for 8 weeks. In that time they learned how to plant, tend and harvest crops that they would then sell to the community at affordable prices. At the end of the summer both groups gathered at City Council to recount their amazing summer experiences.

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Summer 2010

FIT for Kids youth are honored at the Shreveport City Council Meeting.

On Tuesday, August 10, youth who participated in the FIT for Kids program this summer were acknowledged by Mayor Glover and the Shreveport City Council. Two of the teens, David Holmes and Brandon Lewis, who are founding members of the Valencia Park Stoner Hill Community Garden, spoke about their experiences with the program.

FIT for Kids hosted a wonderful Spaghetti Luncheon on Wednesday, August 11th. They served spaghetti and meat balls, salad, garlic bread, and watermelon for dessert. The luncheon was held in the gym at the Valencia Park Community Center and there were about 50 guests including community members, parents, teachers, and public officials (see photo below).

The youth continue to develop their communication and media skills by doing interviews and making videos. Their second video has just been posted on You Tube. This video teaches how to prepare the soil and plant green bean seeds. They really know their stuff! Here is the link: http://www.youtube.com/user/communitygardener?feature=mhum

Let us know what you think!

Mayor Glover tours Valencia Park Stoner Hill Community Garden after the spaghetti luncheon.

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FIT for Kids Youth are Celebrities!

The youth in the FIT for Kids Program have accomplished many things this summer. They have learned how to grow and prepare food, leadership skills, and communication skills. They have donated food to a local food pantry and to senior citizens in the neighborhood.They have shown great teamwork resulting in a very productive garden and an up-coming spaghetti lunch. They have also been invited to the Shreveport City Council meeting next week to be honored for their accomplishments.

Jacoby, David, Fredrick, and Rangel make a video about the Valencia Park Youth Garden.

We have been exploring the topic of food deserts and youth gardening in other communities around the country. The Valencia Park  youth want to get the word out about their good works and how they are making a difference in Shreveport, Louisiana. They have been making videos about their FIT for Kids experiences. You can view the first of a series on You Tube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ibyP-VU7v5E

Let us know what you think and please help us get the word out by sharing with your friends!

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Learning to be Leaders

This week we learned how to work together and be leaders. We did a dangerous, scary activity call the “trust walk”. We had to guide our blindfolded partner over a curb and on top of a chair without talking. When we were blindfolded, we had to learn how to trust our partners. Even though we got a few bumps and bruises, it was fun and adventurous

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