What The Adults Say !
"FitLit is a belief, the belief in turning what is neglected as a challenge, and all challenges can be overcome!"
Instilling the necessary meta- cognitive reading abilities during the stages of learning is not only challenging, but neglected. During the five years of working with Dido Balla and Katherine Leiva, they have both taught their students to self- question before, during, and after reading. Their belief in reflection has led to students automatically, self- question! The modeling process was rigorous yet beneficial. The outcome enabled students to feel comfortable speaking in social settings and engaging in academic discussions. How do I know? Dido Balla and Katherine Leivas’s classroom were next to mine, neighbors! I had the opportunity of having my first teaching experience with English Language Learners because of having them as neighbors! I witnessed, firsthand, the level of progression their students went through. As reflective thinkers, we were able to work very well together and formed a strong bond simply because we all share the love of self- improvement, professionally and personally. Now they have embarked on making the “neglected” part of learning not become a reality anymore. A 10 month school year leaves 2 months of down- time. This down-time leaves too much margin of error. What may have been learned in 10 months can easily be forgotten in the 2 months. FitLit is a belief, the belief in turning what is neglected as a challenge, and all challenges can be overcome !
"Balla and Leiva are amazing mentors and coaches to people of all ages."
Balla and Leiva are amazing mentors and coaches to people of all ages. As a teacher and fitness neophyte, I started working out with them as a favor. Quickly, my perception of fitness and goal setting changed. Leiva and Balla were very encouraging throughout my workout process. They are both natural teachers and on a personal basis they developed me to set my own goals, follow proper training form, and understand what my body needs. I’ve had problems with my knee since very young, and Balla was helpful in modifying exercises to my ability. More so, I can tell that their coaching has developed their students into confident disciplined individuals that persevere through challenges. As mentors and coaches I couldn’t recommend them enough.
Further, I want to reiterate that although focused on fitness, Balla and Leiva are teachers first. Both are decorated veterans of MDCPS earning several accolades such as: Un Maestro Especial from Univision, Observational Classroom of the Year 2012 and 2013, and the Governor's Shine Award For Inspirational Teachers, among many others. Their personal involvement in their student’s goals is simply unheard of. Leiva has personally helped her students go through the college application process. All-in-all a program that leverages their strengths as teachers, coaches, and nutrition experts is superb!