A program designed by a local educator has received high praise and some pretty big bucks to help El Paso children live healthier, happier lives.

Robert "Bobby" Macias had a simple, yet a heartfelt, idea.

Help kids.

All of them, regardless of background, ability, or overall health and athletic skill level by staying active and healthy.

The best way to do that was pretty simple to Bobby, treat them like professional athletes.

Give them a proper program along with proper equipment and tie it to proper training and attention. Sounds easy, right?

The Raise Up The Bar, (RUTB.), program Bobby developed sure makes it seem so. R.U.T.B. is an all-inclusive fitness elective class that teaches students to view themselves as athletes. The students are taught to respect and care for their body and make the most of it via the correct usage of equipment and training. A holistic approach to nutrition is also a key aspect of the program along with teaching the fundamentals of mindfulness, mental strength, social and emotional wellness.

R.U.T.B. started at Ross Middle School as "Ross-Fit", a group of 3 members who met after school every day to work out and soon became an official afterschool club. The group grew quickly and was soon drawing high praise from both EPISD and the media in El Paso and beyond. In 2018, R.U.T.B. was made an official elective class and the following year the program became a full day offering. That's when the name changed from Ross-Fit to R.U.T.B. and the class became available at Ross & Henderson Middle Schools while an afterschool version of it began at Brown Middle School.

An interesting side effect of the program has been its ability to draw students from different backgrounds together to be healthier and has really made a difference in the lives of special education students and those in military families. Bottom line, the kids see that they can all be athletes regardless of any "challenges" such as physical or mental impairments.

The program, started by Bobby Macias and 3 kids, is now at about 1,000 students and next year will grow even more exponentially as R.U.T.B. has been awarded multiple grants with which they can now buy new equipment and begin offering the program at ALL EPISD middle and high schools.

Running laps and lifting weights, while beneficial, can be kinda boring. This incorporates fun and challenging activities as well as building a true "team" spirit while students learn more about themselves and each other.

Sure beats video games and Cheetos, huh?

KLAQ's Pickle Party: A Big Dill of Photos

KLAQ's Pickle Party took place at EPIC Railyard Event Center. El Pasoans were excited to get their pickles tickled at the first annual Pickle Party, as many people rushed into the venue to enjoy free pickle samples. Bob's Pickle Pops were handed out, along with shots of pickle juice. There was so much going on, you really had to experience it for yourself. For those who didn't here is a glimpse into the fantastic Pickle Party.

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