Wellness 4 Every 1 aims to increase awareness of the inequalities in the wellness industry and provide opportunities for diverse communities to have access to quality arts and wellness programming, as well as a space for social and emotional well-being.
Their programs are currently in 100 public schools nationwide, with 150 classes weekly (new programs are added all the time) and impacting over 10,000 students! How do they know it's working? Among other things, "Every year the schools expand their programming!" states Alison Rootberg, Founder.
"The initial frustration was we saw a huge need for improvement in Chicago public schools. But now we work with New York, New Jersey, and others. The school systems do not have funding for these programs! So students are not receiving art, music, dance theater . . . and physical education was the most underserved, least funded programming!" she states. The programs are very affordable for districts as well. $4 provides a 1 hour class to a child.
"We're particularly proud of the way we empower kids to love movement. It's not just about burning calories or getting moving, it's about inspiring them to continue to do it," echoes Steve Feinberg, Director of Partnerships and long time industry veteran.
Alison and Steve go on to discuss the challenges around fundraising and applying for grants, their plans for expansion (since there's clearly a lot of need!) onboarding instructors to maintain quality across the network, and more.
The ideas here are so "simple," and easily implemented that host Pete Moore strongly urges, "Anyone who listens to this podcast should immediately listen to it again to get some ideas and make them happen!"
Wellness 4 Every 1 is quietly (but quickly!) making waves and affecting kids in so many positive ways. Reach out to them directly to get your school involved (or as a fitness professional to learn how you can participate.)