Dallas Mayor's Youth Fitness Initiative

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Dallas Mayor's Youth Fitness Initiative
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Who We Are:
The Dallas Mayor’s Youth Fitness Initiative (MyFi) is a public/private partnership led by City of Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings along with business and community leaders. Mayor Rawlings, who has been closely involved in the development of the program since its inception, set a clear vision for MyFi—to reverse the childhood obesity epidemic in our city so that Dallas children will be the healthiest in the nation.

MyFi’s mission is to improve the physical and mental health of children across the city; reduce the economic impact of health care burden; create sustainable opportunities for families to learn a new, healthier way of life; and regularly measure and track the program’s impact on participants.

An important part of the strategy and an element that makes MyFi distinct is its partnership with the City of Dallas Park and Recreation Department. MyFi is utilizing many of the existing resources and infrastructure in place to implement programs, while helping the centers become a more vibrant and viable part of the community.

Another unique aspect of the initiative is its commitment to ongoing assessment. By partnering with The Cooper Institute and the Diabetes Health and Wellness Institute of the Baylor Health Care System, MyFi is taking a dynamic, data-driven approach to evaluating the program's effectiveness. Ongoing data collection is taking place in the form of daily Rate of Perceived Exertion charts; weekly activity logs; FITNESSGRAM assessments at least three times per year; and a 48-question baseline health status survey, which will be conducted twice per year.

What We Do:
Every weekday at MyFi sites across the city, hundreds of children ages 6 – 12 are engaged in activities aimed at helping them develop a lifetime love of exercising and eating smart. During the 2-hour program, facilitators follow a resource manual that guides the daily events, which include a healthy snack; a warm-up lesson or game centered on nutrition, wellness or health; 60 minutes of moderate to intense physical activity as recommended by the federal government; and a cool-down activity that reaffirms the theme of the current challenge.

All activities, such as relays and pacing games, as well as education, such as the importance of proper nutrition, hydration and stretching, align with the challenge in progress, and rotate as a new theme begins every six weeks. Each challenge culminates with a special event and rewards, such as participating in a 5K run/walk or attending a professional sports event.

Our Story:
In August 2010, City leaders Tom Leppert and Mike Rawlings were joined by Oncor CEO Bob Shapard in announcing the formation of the partnership and the need to create long-term, measurable solutions to address the health challenges facing Dallas children.

In the past year, MyFi has worked to unite government with Dallas business leaders and multidisciplinary experts to examine and assess the needs and resources within the city, and build a strategy to make significant improvements in the way Dallas children eat, play and live.

MyFi reached a major milestone as the organization rolled out the first phase of its program in October 2011. Children enrolled in MyFi programs are engaged in daily educational lessons and structured activities focused on exercise and healthy habits. Participants are being evaluated using the FITNESSGRAM developed by The Cooper Institute, will track their progress using personal scorecards and will receive incentives through MyFi’s recognition and rewards program.


Our Contact Info:

Dallas Mayor’s Youth Fitness Initiative
1616 Woodall Rodgers Freeway, 7th Floor
Dallas, Texas 75202

Contact Name
Debbie Dennis
Loaned Executive Director
(214) 486-3550


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