CORPUS CHRISTI, TX — One local organization is doing what it can to combat mental illness. The non-profit Kids Get Fit hopes to combat childhood obesity with teaching proper mindfulness, along with nutrition and physical fitness.
Kids get Fit's practices for a healthier lifestyle have resonated in the community to the point where its program is going on its third year of being offered in the Corpus Christi Independent School District.
So what exactly is mindfulness?
"Whenever we practice mindfulness we're actually preparing ourselves with tools that are going to help us get through those difficult emotions and those difficult times," said Kids Get Fit Yoga and Mindfulness Instructor Ashley Chapa.
In a class at Windsor Park Elementary School, Chapa explains mindfulness to a group of fourth-graders in a physical education class.
She goes through the anatomy of the brain, and what it means to be mindful of your emotions, surroundings and how to tackle ways to best handle unwanted emotions.
She says she likes to incorporate simple meditation and interactive styles to help kids understand what mindfulness is and how it works.
"It really helps each kid understand what's going to work best for them," she said. "So that way they can later apply it to whatever they need to apply it to in their daily lives."
Mindfulness practices through Kids Get Fit have shown positive reactions from students and the community. Richard Torres, Program Specialist for P.E. within CCISD, said when Kids Get Fit was first introduced to the district, he was blown away by the program's knowledge and practices.
Torres says physical education coaches soon will have to learn mindfulness if Texas decides to add the subject to school curriculums.
"The state is already looking at changing the TEKS (Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills curriculum)," he said. "A part of the TEKS that they would be changing will be ... mindfulness. So, as far we we're concerned, we are way ahead of what the state is going to mandate in a couple years."
Having Kids Get Fit in CCISD does not cost the district any money.
Torres explains that combating childhood obesity and creating a healthy lifestyle can only be complete with proper mindfulness training.
Kids Get Fit teaches yoga, zumba, correct nutrition and mindfulness in all of their after school programs, and CCISD classes.
To keep this program running for free to the community, you can help by donating to their
4th Annual "No Run" Run
Wednesday, October 23 5:30-7:30pm
Nueces Brewing Company, 401 S Water St.
Donate/ Tickets Here