Public safety, Indianapolis Indians team up for new afterschool program

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INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) - Where else but Victory Field to pitch a new plan to get kids into the physical fitness game?

The Indianapolis Indians are teaming up with public safety and some Indianapolis schools on a pilot program called "Right Fit."

Between January and June, public safety officers will go to the four pilot elementary schools three afternoons a week to work with students and help them learn. It will all happen on school property right after school.

"Many times, students do not have something constructive to do when they leave us. Of course, we want them to do homework and those kind of things, so this is a way to ensure the academics gets done with the caring adult there to guide that, but also a way to ensure students have an opportunity to have some fun and exercise," said IPS Superintendent Lewis Ferebee.

On those three afternoons each week, students will also have dinner before their bus home from school.

"They will actually have three meals at our school - Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday - which is fantastic for our children," said Holy Angels School Principal Matt Goddard. "Teaching the whole child, give them every tool they need to be successful and I do believe that how the exercise, the nutrition...all that has a play in how healthy they are and how far they can succeed."

The four pilot schools include Holy Angels, as well as IPS Schools 46, 63, and 96.

"It takes a village to raise a child and IPS is in the middle of our village. They are one of the most important aspects of our community. A lot of the students at IPS come from very difficult circumstances, so you're trying to address a number of different things with right fit," said Indianapolis Indians Vice President Cal Burleson.

"Our children get to interact with a lot of different people, public safety, especially. You know how there is tension now, anytime we can get public safety in interacting with our children in a positive way, that is a fantastic thing. That way they can see them as a great support for them," Goddard said.

Some of the Indianapolis Indians players are expected to get involved with the program when they come back from winter break.