Fun and Fit Aftercare is a new and innovative after school program for children grades K-6. Created by OKKA Karate owners, TJ and Fran Coakley, the program will take a unique approach to childcare with a specially designed curriculum that focuses on structured play, exercise, academic, social and physical development.
Fun and Fit Aftercare is accessible by Harrison Township school buses using the alternate bus stop program in place at HTS & PVS schools.
Fun and Fit is located at 33 S. Main Street – home of OKKA Karate- Mullica Hill, on Main Street. The 6500 sq. foot historic building was modernized with many upgrades when TJ and Fran moved their family owned Karate Studio (DOJO) there in 2016. The facility continues its evolution as they make additional upgrades to accommodate their new afterschool program, all with the commitment of keeping the warmth and charm of the original historic structure.
“Our vision for Fun and Fit is to be more than just snack and homework time on a gymnasium floor…..we take a whole child development approach with our existing karate program and will use this same approach to be a different kind of after school program”– TJ Coakley, Co-founder of Fun and Fit Aftercare
So what’s different about Fun & Fit Aftercare?
Each afternoon will include a rotating schedule of play, exercise, homework and academic support, personal and life skill development.
Play and exercise time
Parkour, Obstacle Courses (Ninja Warrior Style), Volleyball, Relay Racing, Yoga/Stretching, Tai Chi, basic Martial Arts skills and Self-Defense techniques. The goal is to create exposure to fitness so that children can develop fundamental skills such as focus and concentration, gross motor skills, kinetic awareness, balance, strength, endurance and flexibility. Activities will be organized by age, assuring that each child will have a chance to have fun with age appropriate activities and build friendships with their peers. These activities will take place rain or shine because they are indoors.
“Play is very important for healthy childhood development, especially after a day in the classroom. Giving children a chance to burn off energy with organized play improves concentration during our homework and academic time.”– Fran Coakley, Fun and Fit Aftercare Program Director
Fran Coakley, Fun and Fit Program Director who holds three teaching certifications and has over 10 years of classroom experience in K-12 education, told us, “Play is very important for healthy childhood development, especially after a day in the classroom. Giving children a chance to burn off energy with organized play improves concentration during our homework and academic time.”
Homework and Academic Support
Play and exercise are coupled with academic support. More than just homework time (although definitely included) there will be support for HTS/PVS’s Silent Sustained Reading programs (SSR). An on-site computer will be available for homework research.
Life Skills Development
As part of Fun and Fit’s “whole child” approach, children will be presented with age appropriate seminars on topics such as Study Strategies, Cyber Safety, Bully Prevention, Nutrition/Healthy Eating and other important topics. These seminars are presented with a fun and engaging approach to help make them relevant and meaningful to the children.
Included in the program are OKKA’s S.T.A.R. Character Development and Academic Achievement programs. Which utilizes recognition with star shaped patches to promote positive behavior, life skill development, and academic engagement resulting in self-confidence and pride.
An added bonus…Parents Night Out!
On a monthly basis Fun and Fit will offer Parents Night Out (usually a Saturday evening). Giving the kids a chance play with friends on a weekend and provide parents with the opportunity for a night out.
More about the Coakleys
Fran holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Education with Minors in English and Social Studies. She has 3 teaching certifications and 10+ years of classroom experience in the K-12 education arena.
Fran is licensed Karate instructor with 16+ years of martial arts experience and holds the rank of 5th Degree Black Belt.
TJ holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science, a Minor in Sociology, and Master’s Degree in Business Administration. He retired from corporate life and became a Certified Personal Trainer and is an adjunct professor at Rowan University. TJ is also a licensed Karate Instructor, a 5th Degree Black Belt and has 10+ years of experience coaching youth sports in Harrison Township.