Educating, Enriching, and Enhancing the lives of our youth through
Exercise Science and Nutritional Education

At Youth to the Core we have worked for years to develop a comprehensive approach to developing healthy children and students of all ages. Utilizing recent scientific insights into children’s health, we have developed a program that provides children with opportunities to learn, exercise and develop an overall appreciation for the complex nature of their bodies.


This exciting new approach to physical and classroom education is called “exercise science.” By using new technologies to delve even deeper into the study of human movement, health and nutrition we are making great strides towards improving the overall fitness of children everywhere. Exercise science gives us new understanding of injury and illness prevention, how diet affects overall health and how the body’s various systems work together.


At Youth to the Core we strive to provide a well-rounded exercise science curriculum that will benefit the overall development of every child. We provide extensive tools for both teachers and parents that will help them reach the goals they have set out for their children and students. Even though we’d like to be, we know we can’t be everywhere at once, so we have created an easy to follow system that will be fun and beneficial for teachers, parents and children.



Since 2011 we have been working with the McGill School of Success Charter School in South Park, San Diego. Our program currently handles 172 students T/K – 5th grade and we work closely with the administration, teachers and parents so the students understand the importance of staying healthy and adhere to the State mandated minutes for PE.

Bringing our mission into Charter Schools and focusing on low level income neighborhoods nation wide will have a long term, positive affect that directly benefits the students and significantly decreases the chances for childhood obesity and diabetes. We assure all schools receive the State Mandated minutes for Physical Education and perform the required fitness assessments through the Presidents Youth Fitness Program.


Mr. Bret H. Caslavka, M.S.

Executive Director

Mr. Caslavka is the founder of Youth to the Core, curriculum designer and primary educator for all Youth to the Core schools and programs. Along with his 30 years of experience in the fitness and health field, his work with youth fitness allows the organization to expand to multiple schools.

Zagros Bassirian


Zagros (“Zag”) brings a bright, qualified legal mind to our organization. His fundraising guidance to establish our marketing campaign will allow us to become a respected face in the community and expand our footprint. Zag’s desire and enthusiasm to bring our mission to our youth will create a foundation for solid, continued growth within and around the organization. We are fortunate to have such a young legal mind with a passion for youth.

Dr. Lauren Hayden

Assistant Educator

Dr. Hayden brings understanding the human body to another level for the students. Lauren’s anatomy background and her ability to explain the body brings everything to life for all the youth and creates questions which enhances the learning capabilities.

Ms. Jewel Kelley


Ms. Kelley keeps the organization together. Her years of dedication to multiple charities in the San Diego area bring a respected individual who has a deep passion for our youth. Jewel is an integral part of our organization to assure continued growth that our mission becomes a reality.

Mr. Herb Johnson

CEO San Diego Rescue Mission

Mr. Johnson is no stranger to the nonprofit community and his participation as an advisor brings priceless experience and knowledge to the foundation. From helping the homeless to organizing Boy Scouts, Herb has dedicated his life to service in the San Diego community.

Dr. Joseph E. Donnelly, Ed.d

Director - Center Physical Activity & Weight Mgmt

Dr. Donnelly is a nationally recognized researcher in children to fight obesity involving physical activity and diet. His recent study A+PAAC results show how academic scores in grades 3-5 improve when the students learn through movement. Since 2000 “Doc” has received $10 million in grants from the National Institutes of Health to help combat obesity in children and adults.

Ms. Delia Terry

Home Room Educator

Ms. Terry has been an educator for grades K-6 the past 25 years and is the primary home room educator for Youth to the Core at The McGill School of Success. Delia was instrumental in assisting with the program’s inception and helping coordinate Youth to the Core’s curriculum for each grade level. Ms. Terry is now in her fourth year with Youth to the Core and brings the teachers voice to our organization.

Randy Truax


Mr. Truax brings an extensive financial mind to our foundation with a deep understanding and experience working with non-profit organizations of all types and sizes. Randy has been involved with youth organizations in and around San Diego for over 30 years. His compassion for others and his forward thinking business mind brings direction and guidance that will allow us to integrate with others.

Brandi Whitten


A non-profit financial specialist, Ms. Whitten is no stranger to school districts or non-profits of all sizes. Brandi brings a solid and realistic approach to Youth to the Core's financial direction. Her long standing volunteer commitment with SDUSD as a former PTA President, financial advisor and past recipient of Volunteer of the Year for SDUSD, Brandi guides every aspect on the intricacies of growing within the non-profit and Charter school communities.



Youth to the Core: Green Day

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Not enough P.E. at your school? Call this guy

As a kinesiologist and owner of a Pilates studio, it’s easy to see that Bret Caslavka has a passion for fitness. But the Bankers Hill resident isn’t stopping there. He also created Youth to the Core, a nonprofit program with a mission to bring more physical education to schools. The program teaches kids everything from ...

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Pilates is Perfect for Growing Athletes

Are you an athlete? Maybe you’re a basketball player, track athlete or football player. Perhaps you’re a dancer, runner, or swimmer. No matter what sport it is you play, there’s one thing that can help hone your strength, increase your flexibility, and enhance your power: Pilates. Pilates helps focus your mind on your body’s needs, ...

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Comparing Youth to the Core to BOKS (Build Our Kids)

Sponsored by Reebok, BOKS is a 45 minute before school program for grades K-5 that’s either organized into a 12 week curriculum delivered twice a year or three times per week delivered year round. Each session uses a 5 segment exercise program with a weekly skill topic that includes games associated to the skill and ...

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Comparing Youth to the Core and Presidents Youth Fitness Program

There are only a few other programs that offer a similar program to Youth to the Core so we’ve decided to review them and compare their programs to what we offer here at Youth to the Core. The Presidents Youth Fitness Program (PYTFP) is an assessment program that was created in partnership with the National ...

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Comparing Youth to the Core and SPARK

PARK is a program that holds a 6 hour or 12 hour workshop to train school educators to implement a physical education program on their own. They are provided with materials and assessment forms for the teacher to implement and support. Once the workshops are completed SPARK provides a follow-up and sustainability program for the ...

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Bagged Lunches From Home Are Failing

Bagged Lunches From Home Are Failing A new study has determined that the lunches kids bring from home are not as healthy as those served in school cafeterias.  Researchers say that in general, lunches brought from home contain more salt, fewer fruits, vegetables and whole grains than compared with the standard meals provided in the ...

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Kids May Be Safer and Smarter But Still Overweight

Kids today are generally safer and do better in school than they have at any time in the last 20 years according to a new study from Duke University.  At every level, more children are enrolled in classes.  Graduation rates are up in high school and more kids are getting their college degrees.  Overall, test ...

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Test Scores and Physical Education: a Priority Run Amok

The “No Child Left Behind” Act first implemented in 2002 has created a testing frenzy in many of our schools.  It has resulted in the elimination of art and music, so teachers have more time to prepare for tests.  But it has also impacted kids in other ways.  Now, more than ever, as schools across ...

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The State of Youth to the Core

When we began our program in September, 2011, we set out on a journey that began with 23 K/1st graders in one classroom at the McGill School of Success. In meeting once a week for 45 minutes at a time, we began to develop a curriculum that ultimately created a standards-based Physical Education template for ...

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Cardiovascular Affects on Heart Rate and Breathing

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Youth To The Core Founder Featured in the San Diego Union Tribune

Check out our founder, Bret Caslavka, featured in the San Diego Union Tribune! “As a kinesiologist and owner of a Pilates studio, it’s easy to see that Bret Caslavka has a passion for fitness. But the Bankers Hill resident isn’t stopping there. He also created Youth to the Core, a nonprofit program with a mission ...

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