New Haven’s summer program combines fitness and learning


NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — New Haven’s city parks are a great gathering place for summer fun, but some are also sites for fitness and reading, thanks to New Haven Public Schools.

“It just started with ‘Let’s all get together, take a walk, start moving,'” said Gemma Josephy Lumpkin, youth, family and community engagement manager. “And now we’ve really made it a learning opportunity. We talk about parks, but we also put books there.

Helping people get ready for the walk is mActivity Health and Fitness and instructor Latoya Armstrong.

“Because it’s just a walk, it’s low impact, gentle on your joints,” Armstrong said. “By the way, you work at your own pace.”

After a short tutorial, the participants leave for the races. Each absorbed vitamin D and worked together to build a healthy heart and mind.

Literacy is also the name of the game.

“I think it’s really important to get students and our kids outside,” said parent Bill Scott. “Make them move. Anytime you can tie literacy to that, it’s extremely important.

Scott noted that just because it’s summer, “learning doesn’t take a vacation.”

New Haven Public Schools and mActivity are hosting two more events this month:

  • July 19, 10 a.m. to noon: Edgerton Park, meet at the entrance, 75 Cliff St.
  • July 28, 10 a.m. to noon: Farmington Canal Greenway, meet at Bassett Street entrance, 213 Bassett St.

The first 25 students to register for each walk will receive a water bottle from mActivity Health and Fitness. Online registration can be completed here.


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