Our Story

 Pat and Deborah Manocchia founded LA PALESTRA KIDS in 2009. Pat, Exercise Specialist and Founder of the premier health club network, LA PALESTRA, was inspired to improve early childhood education using the existing resources of his ever-growing company. Deborah Manocchia, his wife and Licensed Clinical Social Worker, saw a need for an integrative health program that combined exercise, social skills, and nutrition in a full developmentally appropriate curriculum. Combining the wellness industry with community-based social work, LA PALESTRA KIDS, the non-profit initiative, was born.

"This program is critical to the early childhood education and integration of nutrition, exercise, and socialization in our Echo Park community. When it was conceived, it was the first program that integrated the benefits of nutrition, positive social interactions and foundations of exercsie to our young children. Most importantly, this program provides this education to families whom may not otherwise receive it, due to the social and economic barriers of our East Harlem community." - Gretchen Buchenholz, Executive Director, The Association to Benefit Children

What Our Partners Say

"Everyone at LSNC, from preschoolers to the staff, values and enjoys the health and fitness classes you provide. Thank you for your generosity and support you have shown to our whole community." -Mary Mulvihill, Ed. D, Executive Director, Lincoln Square Neighborhood Center

Continued Expansion

Program expansion is just one of our accomplishments in the past year of receiving non-profit status. Beyond servicing approximately 300 children in our first year, we have expanded our program two-fold with the addition of two new sites. Fundraising efforts have made program development and expansion possible. Our program is rapidly growing. More community centers are taking interest. We are continuously expanding and hoping to achieve our ultimate goal of spreading health awareness throughout all communities in NYC.