School was out for the summer, but at Fit4Kids, our staff was hard at work preparing to bring healthy eating, physical activity, and wellness programming back to school! After a successful year of implementing our Wellness Integration program at schools in Richmond, Henrico, and Chesterfield, we’re adding Patrick Copeland Elementary School in Hopewell to our list of schools that will benefit from the expertise and engagement of a full-time Wellness Integration Specialist.Take a movement break!

This year, Fit4Kids is also teaming up with 20 schools and one community partner to offer year-round garden programming at Fit4Kids learning gardens. At 15 schools in Chesterfield, Richmond, and Henrico, outdoor garden classrooms will be used to teach students fun, valuable lessons in nutrition, science, math, and a variety of other SOL-based topics. Afterschool garden clubs at Southampton, Swansboro, Ginter Park, and Oak Grove Elementary Schools in Richmond and the Neighborhood Resource Center in Fulton, will engage students in hands-on garden activities, including tasting delicious garden produce,  every week. If you have a passion for gardening, working with children, or just want to learn and have fun, contact Kayla Dransfield at to get involved!

So what’s new with the Fit4Kids staff? We’re excited to welcome Tara FitzPatrick our new (and first!) Safe Routes to School Coordinator, and Cynthia Piazza, Patrick Copeland’s new Wellness Integration Specialist, to the Fit4Kids team. Tara will be working closely with five elementary schools in Richmond to implement activities and initiatives that promote safe walking and biking to school. With her strong background in teaching and incredible passion for physical activity, Cynthia will lead the way in getting students and teachers at Patrick Copeland up and moving in the classroom. Read about both of these energetic members of our team here. We will also say goodbye  to our Program Manager, Rachel Gallagher, at the end of September. Rachel has worked with Fit4Kids since its inception and has been an integral member of our team for the last 5 years. Please join us in wishing her well on her next adventure!

The Fit4Kids team is looking forward to another exciting year of improving the health and wellness of children. Stay tuned for additional updates on our work throughout the year!