“IT’S FITLIT FRIDAAAAAYY,” the kids yelled as we finished our first full high intensity interval training session. I have never seen kids express such excitement and happiness while simultaneously complaining about the toughness of a workout. I expected it would be such a high energy day because as soon as we entered the CAMP 4 Justice room, I noticed Joshua had brought a book from home. Right away, he said, “Balla, I brought my book from home--I am ready to read. And you know what? Imma put y’all to shame today when we exercise.” Right then, I knew the day looked promising.
We entered the CAMP 4 Justice room excited to start our first full Lit Day with the kids, but we were immediately greeted with small jumping and cheering bodies dressed in workout clothes yelling, “finally….let’s go workout;” “do we have to workout outside?” “ I am ready to go!” Right behind them were two bigger bodies, also in workout clothes, and as excited to go exercise--that’s how much the kids and the chaperones enjoyed our first Fit Day yesterday. Leiva and I looked at each other, smiled, and slowly told them in unison, “we were not planning on working out today--it’s our first Lit Day.” The room got quiet for a split second, and then they burst into various exclamations of disappointment--”Are you serious?” asked Wellington, “I was ready;” most kids reacted the same way, and even Mr. C, one of the chaperones, told us, “the kids called me out yesterday, so I came ready.” Leiva and I looked at each other again, smiled, and mentally agreed to PIBE the situation.
The kids had a blast during our first Fit Day. We got there forty minutes earlier, and we chose a nice shady area on the grass to set up our yoga mats, cones, jump ropes, and agility ladder. While we were waiting for the kids, we started playing with a couple freebies, and that’s what we were doing when the kids got there. Joshua was the first one there, and he had a huge smile on his face. He raised his two hands, yelled my name, and proceeded to give me a double high five. We could not have hoped for a better beginning of the day. Most kids ran to the props they saw and started using them. Within seconds, Wellington was showing off some moves on the agility ladder, and Prodigy was jumping the rope at an impressive speed. They all looked excited, but we had to remind them to rest, since we were about to go through an intense Fit Test.
Today, we left the library with a heavy feeling of sadness, though the day started with more energy than we had anticipated.
Leiva, Jasmin, Arturo (second intern) and I got to the Edison Center Branch Library thirty minutes before the kids. This was the perfect time to talk to our interns about their role with FitLit this summer. We exchanged a few thoughts about our social media strategy, and before we knew it, the kids were there with the application forms, so we got to work right away. The kids immediately spread around the library and started looking through the bookshelves. Within ten minutes, Sean, Amaya, Wellington, and Launy (this was her first day) had each chosen books, and they were laying on a mat in the back of the library, devouring their book’s content, one page after the other.
Leiva and I were super excited to take our Middle School FitLitters to the local library. We could not wait to observe their inquisitive faces as they navigated through the giant bookshelves of the Edison Center Branch Library, many probably for the first time. We were originally set out to have thirty kids, but last week, the projected number of kids dropped to seventeen; ultimately, though, once we got to the FIU South Campus today, we were informed that only eight kids had showed up. While we were still digesting this news, we were also informed that the trip to the local library had been cancelled because of the small number of kids in attendance. We were devastated by the latter news--without the library tour, there would be no books for the kids; without the books, there would be no Lit (literature), and without Lit, there could be no FitLit.