New Program Works to Inspire Young Men

FRUITVALE, Colo.- - Fruitvale Elementary School is offering a new before school program on Tuesdays and Thursdays to advocate fitness for its students.

Third through fifth graders, and even a few second graders, currently totaling to 68 students, have been taking advantage of this program called Men on the Move.

Instructional Coach for Fruitvale Elementary, Garrett Pierce, explained, "for years, we've seen great work with Girls on the Run and the progress they've worked with our young ladies, but I always felt like the boys were left out...we didn't have anything at school for them."

Students participating in the program not only gain health and fitness knowledge, but life lessons as well. "We need to start addressing some of these social issues that these young boys are dealing with, that they shouldn't have to deal with until they are men...we're making that transition to manhood," said Pierce.

These students receive positive reinforcement through many lively activities from male faculty members, as well as volunteer trainers in the community, like Zach Vogel, Founder of Heroes Training Systems. Vogel was asked to join Men on the Move by Pierce to bring different dynamics to the program including an obstacle activity.

"It's a great tool to be able to increase communication, increase teamwork, and when they come across hardship and instant obstacles, instant adversity, how are they going to respond from that...are they going to break down or are they going to step up to the plate and find a new role," explained Vogel.

Niko Estepa, 4th grader at Fruitvale Elementary, came to a situation like Vogel explained after his rope broke on one of the obstacles. Estepa described, "there was still a place for me because I told them what to do and how to maneuver it...I thought it was really cool cause I still had a left over place.

Pierce also explained how he hopes this program will continue throughout the rest of the school year and into next year as well having more students signing up.

For boys attending Fruitvale Elementary who want to join in on the free fun, contact Garrett Pierce at the school to sign up.

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