TRUCE Fitness and Nutrition Center

An Effective Practice


TRUCE Fitness and Nutrition Center (TFNC) is a program that targets – and was designed by – middle school students. The program was conceived by youths as a response to the growing evidence of poor nutrition and rising rates of obesity among American children, especially minorities. The program targets pre- and early adolescents – a crucial developmental period in the lives of young people. TFNC works with you them to enhance their awareness of fitness and health, improve their academic performance, and empower them to make healthier decisions. The program gives young people a forum to speak out and discuss nutrition and the ill effects of unhealthy behaviors. In addition to the educational component, the program offers free fitness classes ranging from karate to dance. TFNC runs as an after-school program year round. A fundamental piece of the program is that the young people who participate are not thought of as recipients of services, but rather, they are in training to become leaders – advocates for good health – for their families, peers, and their community. This thinking is derived from the idea that the best way to reach young people is through other young people. The program trains participants as young managers, who work at the facility and teach and interact with their peers. The project involves TRUCE staff, youth managers, parents, and community members.

Goal / Mission

TRUCE works with young people in order to increase their awareness of fitness and health, improve their academic performance, and empower them to make healthier decisions.

Results / Accomplishments

The TRUCE Fitness and Nutrition Center uses a series of surveys and tests in order to measure its success and determine whether goals are met. In a recent round of testing of the youth managers, 87% increased their knowledge of the material covered. In addition, eight of ten youth managers successfully completed the President’s Challenge, a national fitness program. In another recent survey, results indicated that most TFNC students have already begun preparing themselves for college and the majority believes that they will go to college directly after high school. Every year about 250 youth managers participate in the program.

About this Promising Practice

Primary Contact
125th Street
New York, NY 10035
Health / Exercise, Nutrition, & Weight
Health / Children's Health
Education / Student Performance K-12
The Harlem Children’s Zone, Inc.
The Harlem Children's Zone Project
Date of implementation
Geographic Type
For more details
Target Audience
Children, Racial/Ethnic Minorities

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