At Vanguard Collegiate of Indianapolis, we work hard to inform and better the lives of our fifth to eighth grade students. We spoke to two members of our faculty and staff about how we teach the lifelong importance of exercise and how we incorporate the larger community into our everyday at Vanguard. 

Eric Saunders

The lifelong importance of exercise – how is this woven into your school day? 

As we aim to the future, we face dramatic issues of health. Covid-19 reshaped everything. As a result of being “quarantined” we read posts and comments on Social Media that constantly say, “I’m bored”.  I’m willing to bet that most of the people saying this do not value exercise or have a steady exercise routine. 

We all have been hit with trauma during these recent times and exercising is the practice of discovering what you are made of when it’s easier to give up. As you exercise your body, you exercise your mind. Is this not true for the Armed Forces? 

Over the year at Vanguard we were able to connect the lack of exercise and how it impacts members in the community. Most, if not all, of our scholars can relate to losing a family member to heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. 

Our scholars are constantly reminded and targeted with sweets and hot chips of some sort. I encourage our scholars to gravitate to a mindset of exercise. I do so because I don’t want to encourage them towards a life of success only for it to get cut short because of an avoidable health issues. Essentially, the goal is to develop a more holistic approach to Physical Education.  

With exercise there come rules, strategy, growth and opportunity to experience concentration. Our scholars are able to concentrate on how to properly execute an exercise or learn the proper engagement of a sport. They are also able to focus more on the positive attributes of exercise and how we are able to connect it to negative trends in the community. 

Some of my favorite moments with Vanguards this year include practicing Yoga around the school building, learning Plyometrics and Challenge Day! 

Rob Love 

How do you incorporate the larger community into your charter school environment – guest speakers, field trips, community outreach?

Vanguard incorporates the larger community into our school environment by continuing to be a school that educates, serves, and leads our community as our motto states. 


We educate our community through its children.  We also provide services that can help parents and shareholders with the best advantages to support their children’s learning. 

We have many parent sessions that bring them into the building to see what their children are achieving. We also provide outside opportunities to connect with philanthropies for the good of the community.  

kids in photo frame

We serve our community through various outreach services. We feed our community through food boxes, we utilize advertising giveaways, and we link the community to other philanthropies that provide direct services for those in need.

We lead through all of these efforts and help to bolster the community at large as it has begun to shift. We want to make sure this shift is responsibly done and with the added perspective of the community it houses.  

Vanguard Collegiate of Indianapolis is unapologetically focused on the academic success of our scholars, our fifth to eighth grade students.  Situated in Central Indianapolis, we provide high-quality instruction, rigorous curriculum, and supportive character development. We create pathways to college success and to becoming leaders in thought, word, and action. Be a Vanguard, today!