Stretch-n-Grow, a Seminole (Tampa), FL based company has a growing international network of dedicated affiliate owners providing the company's preschool fitness program in childcare facilities located in the following countries: United States, Canada, Australia, England, Ireland, New Zealand and Hong Kong.
The program was originally conceived in January 1992 by Jill and Bob Manly - shortly after they had learned that they were to become new parents at 40 and 55 respectively. Jill began an extensive study on early childhood fitness and uncovered a number of negative statistics. Most alarming was a statement by the Senate Committee on Children that 85% of children entering elementary school could not pass a basic fitness evaluation. Through her studies of a variety of resources, including fitness experts Bonnie Prudden and Dr. Kenneth Cooper, Jill conceived the idea of conducting fitness classes for three, four and five year olds, primarily in child care facilities.
The plan was to conduct classes locally in Galveston, TX, which offered a limited market base of only 25 childcare facilities and the first Stretch-n-Grow class took place on May 6, 1992. Within just 90 days eleven centers had adopted the program and with an average class size of seventeen children, those classes provided a part-time weekly income of $750.
Enthusiasm for what Jill and Bob were doing resulted in requests for information from several people in other cities. Their success in duplicating the program launched the Stretch-n-Grow Affiliate Ownership Network. Within one year the network had expanded into several major US markets and in June 1993, it became international as it entered the Canadian market. The network now includes over 130 dedicated and talented people in seven countries and is continually growing. These affiliate owners regularly share ideas and techniques that are the foundation for the success of Stretch-n-Grow.
Concern over childhood obesity (and the drastic increase in the incidence of Type II diabetes in children, which is closely related to obesity) and general lack of fitness is by no means restricted to the US and so Stretch-n-Grow works just as well in international markets. The childcare centers love it; Stretch-n-Grow enhances their curriculum at no cost to them. Parents love it; Stretch-n-Grow assists them in developing healthy habits. Most importantly, the children love it because Stretch-n-Grow is so much fun! There are now literally thousands of Stretch-n-Grow 'Stars' in different countries, enjoying a healthier lifestyle while building a solid foundation of fitness and well being that will become an integral part of their lives as they grow up.
Widespread concern exists about the lack of fitness among our children today, but few seem to have constructive solutions to offer and only Stretch-n-Grow has devised a rock solid solution to the problem. By teaching and instilling healthy habits at a young age, childhood obesity with its attendant health risks need no longer be a widespread problem.