It was 25 years ago this week that a very young lady by the name of Stacey Cook set her sites on creating a new focus for her future and what she wanted to do as her life’s work. With no model for her concept and no team for support and guidance, this most special person set a course to create a program that would help children all across this country to have access to active lifestyle choices in order create healthier lives, both physically and mentally. And now a quarter of a century later, our children have been blessed with a program titled Project Fit America.
I promise you that if you ever really look at a PFA program, you will see a formula for teaching all of us how important it is for everyone to become healthier in body and mind and how we can all work together regardless of what skills we are bringing to the table. Barbara Jacoby
If you chat with Stacey, she will admit that her non-profit organization has changed and evolved and truly it was a labor of love that kept her going, especially in the beginning. She will tell you about all of the wonderful people that she has been able to meet and with whom she was able to interact in order to bring her vision to schools across this country. But, if it were not for this most caring, giving and loving person who has put her heart and soul into PFA, this organization would never have been able to achieve the success that it has. I can’t believe that there is a single person who meets Stacey who can’t help but realize her passion and hard work and her drive to do everything possible to help the children.
Project Fit America has at its core the desire to work with communities to find funding for gym equipment, teacher training and the resources needed to get kids fit and create a healthier lifestyle. However, the reach of the programs is so much greater than just having the equipment at the schools. The programs encompass an attitude of teamwork and something for every student no matter their level of physical ability. Students are shown that respect for one another and helping one another is just as important as it is to become physically healthy and strong. In a PFA program, teachers will find ways to provide help and assistance and a level of success for every child at every level. This level of success and accomplishment at this core level of PFA is the very same attributes that exist in its founder.
No one could ever begin to count all of the children that have benefited from the PFA programs across this country but I will tell you that it has been every single child who has been fortunate enough to have a program in which they could participate. And I am sure that what these children are learning is shared by the children in their homes and across their communities, not only while they are participating in their schools but in their lives forever after.
So congratulations to Stacey and her national team of leaders and teachers for all that you are and all that you are doing for those children who are most in need of help in creating opportunities to be active in order to enhance their fitness and have healthier lives. There are no words that could ever thank you for the work that you do every single day to make such a positive difference for so many. It is my greatest hope that as more people learn about what you are doing, they will do whatever they can on a personal level to help and support your efforts in creating better lives for those children in our country whose communities do not have the resources to provide such a program for their children.
I promise you that if you ever really look at a PFA program, you will see a formula for teaching all of us how important it is for everyone to become healthier in body and mind and how we can all work together regardless of what skills we are bringing to the table. On behalf of Kirk and me and Let Life Happen, we salute you and your work. Here is to another 25 more years of Project Fit America and the gifts that you are giving to our country in the wonderful citizens you are creating for now and the future. I am so grateful to know you.
Barbara Jacoby is an award winning blogger that has contributed her writings to multiple online publications that have touched readers worldwide.