Eddie Diaz, Mr. Eddie to his program participants, staff and volunteers, started Discing 4 Kids in 2015 in Flagstaff, AZ.
After retirement, Mr. Eddie saw a need to help the students in Flagstaff with a safe, fun activity that would build their confidence and instill core values.
This need led to the design of a curriculum that encourages students to stay in school through a healthy lifestyle that includes better life choices, active involvement, mentoring (for and by the students), low-impact sports and dispute resolution. The core values of this program include leadership, accountability, integrity, healthy life choices, problem solving, concentration, environmental impact and most importantly no bullying.
From 20 original students, the program has grown to include all elementary schools in Flagstaff including approximately 2,000 students through the Discing 4 Fun program and partnership with the FUSD FACTS program, Camp IWANNAGO, and the Kinlani Dorms.
During the 3 years Discing 4 Kids has been in existence, its programs have brought community awareness and involvement. FUSD, the City of Flagstaff Parks and Recreation Department and the Boys and Girls Club have worked together, along with D4K’s volunteers and local business sponsors, to promote a continuation of the program including the popular Summer of Fun and Friday Night Fun Night.
Summer of Fun was held at Bushmaster Park for 6 weeks last summer where a 9-hole disc golf course was set up for the participants, mostly Flagstaff Elementary School students. Friday Night Fun Night is a free program for 5 weeks during the spring semester each year. This year the program will be held at Sinagua Middle School.
The goal of Discing 4 Kids is to make Flagstaff the perfect model for expansion to other locations.
The next step for Mr. Eddie is the creation of an after-school program for Flagstaff ’s middle schools, similar to what FACTS. has done in the elementary schools and then to an after-school program for Flagstaff ’s high schools to keep these young adults in school.
This is a great example of the positive effect on our community when the public and private sectors work together with non-profit organizations to continue and improve programs such as implemented by D4K. Thank you Mr. Eddie for your dedication to the education and health of our students.