KiDsGyM USA in College Park Celebrates 30 Years! 3

What started in Seattle as a preschool gymnastics program utilized by affluent families, has today turned into a vehicle to touch children of all backgrounds. Initially offered to the upper echelon of Bellevue, Washington, the husband and wife co-founders of KiDsGyM USA® expanded their program to reach children from a small inner city church. These particular children could not pay even a fraction of the true program’s cost.  A program exposing them to a world they could only dream of! Witnessing how their program integrated the power of early movement education to bring children from different backgrounds together, the Campbells made a life altering decision. They created a non-profit corporation with the mission to cater to underserved children. They moved from Seattle and started anew in the South Fulton area, College Park specifically. Blending family and business has proven to be a successful venture for both them and the families they serve.

Modeling family values and being in business together is a delicate balance. “We are always talking about the business and there is never a dull moment; but that is a con as well because we are always talking about the business,” Campbell reveals. Their main priority today is KiDsGyM USA®; however, family and relationships can never take a backseat. The husband and wife team constantly set an example to both their children and the community that they serve. For the family of six, the couple having the same schedule gave them flexibility. It allowed Stephanie to work from home, behind the scenes, giving her more time to spend with her growing kids. She also found the time to invest with the friends of her children. When her kids went to the gym, the students at the gym became their friends. The same core values that KiDsGyM was instilling in her children was infused into the community through the concept of family. With this revelation, she envisioned how important and impactful their work through KiDsGyM could be with generations of kids. She made working with the business and making life comfortable for them look so easy that they didn’t believe she actually worked! One day, her youngest son, Jordan, saw her get very excited and asked her, “What happened mom? Did you get a job?”

It was a job and a passion to provide kids with unimaginable opportunities. During the Olympics in 1996, Stephanie and Tracy gave KiDsGyM kids a front seat to world class athletes, performers, politicians, and members of the media. They were always exposing children to experiences that were typically reserved for those more fortunate. By allowing her children to be active in the business as well, they also reaped the benefits of working with this world class organization that their parents had built. For instance their daughter, Morganne, who had an issue with stuttering and self-confidence at an early age was able to make a dramatic 180 degree shift in her life. After performing with KiDsGyM TOPGUN Tumblers at many professional halftime games in front of tens of thousands of fans, her stuttering disappeared and her confidence soared.  In fourth grade, Morganne won a state championship in gymnastics and years later became the captain of her college basketball team. Stephanie also shared how her eldest son, Tracy, who had never played tennis or golf found it easy to do so after developing the fundamentals of sport through KiDsGyM. This is no surprise to me after witnessing the level of dedication, passion, and love Coach Tracy has when working with students and instructors alike. Volunteering for KiDsGyM was my first opportunity to serve children as an adult and watching how Tracy would treat everyone like family inspired me to become an educator today. Their eldest daughter, Courtney, is also an educator and exhibits the same love for teaching and administration.

The life lessons taught through KiDsGyM USA® has now expanded to help children from global communities! Stephanie recalls a pivotal “a-ha” moment when they received recognition from former President George W. Bush. “One of the most humbling moments for our organization was performing in Washington D.C. for PETA in 1991 and a White House staffer approached us and said that they would like to honor us for the work that we do.” They were also recognized by former President Bill Clinton’s administration.

After 30 years of teaching children the fundamentals of gymnastics and life at Conley Recreation Center (the home of KiDsGyM USA®), they now offer training to others to follow in their footsteps. What began through an inner city church in Seattle has led them into a lifelong ministry of serving God’s children. With Christ, family, and community at the helm, KiDsGyM is destined to travel the world shaping and changing lives for many generations to come!