Physical | Nutritional Health

Students playing BallWhen ABI first started planning Afya Public Charter School in 2007, the issue of childhood obesity was just starting to get a lot of attention. One study in particular, known as the NAPS, found that 20.7% of girls and 17.2% of boys were overweight and 15.3% of girls and 14.1% of boys were at-risk-for-overweight. This study was based on a survey of third graders in Baltimore City Schools in 2000. The report concluded that, “Childhood overweight is a serious problem, and addressing this problem will require comprehensive interventions aimed at improving healthful food choices and increasing physical activity levels.”

We wanted to create schools that did address this very thing. By making fitness and health a core part of our mission, we imagined a place where students were physically active for at least an hour a day, where they learned about the importance of nutrition and where they had opportunities to eat and even make good food, including healthy snacks.

We continue to strive to meet these goals with the mission of our schools. We do this because there is a growing body of research that shows a connection between being fit and being smarter. We do this because it’s fun.