shows off new equipment designed to challenge physical education
October 27, 2009 10:04:00 AM
About 250 sixth-, seventh- and eighth-grade New Hope Middle
School students on a sunny Monday morning watched as a group
of their classmates demonstrated their athletic prowess on
brightly colored fitness equipment provided through a $26,000
Project Fit America grant.
As heartbeat-raising music pulsed through loudspeakers and New
Hope Middle School Physical Education Teacher Andrea
Adams called their names, students performed a “dance” on
parallel bars and other feats, including a 30-second hula-hoop
challenge, to demonstrate the equipment.
“It just gives us more options as far as P.E.,” New
Hope Middle School Principal Sam Allison said of receiving
the grant, noting several “fitness tests” are
given throughout the school year. “It allows the kids
to set goals and maintain those goals for fitness.
“They like it,” he added of the equipment, which
was installed before the start of the school year. “Anytime
you have something new and different, a little friendly competition,
it’s a good thing.”
To get New Hope kids physically fit, Project Fit America
teamed with the Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Mississippi Foundation.
Formed in 1990, Project Fit America is a non-profit organization
which donates all-inclusive fitness programs to schools.
The program includes state of the art outdoor fitness equipment
in a 40-square-foot by 60-square-foot fitness area, specifically
designed to address areas where children fail fitness tests,
as well as curriculum with fitness games and challenges,
indoor mobile fitness equipment with related programming
and in-class instruction on subjects like smoking intervention,
nutrition and body awareness and understanding.
Project Fit America also provides two years of support to
the school with on-site training.
“Physical education and fitness-related activities
continue to be cut and/or poorly funded at a time when childhood
obesity and related illnesses are at epidemic levels,” said
Project Fit America’s Executive Director Stacey Cook. “Our
children’s health is too important to sit idly by,
which is why we applaud Blue Cross/ Blue Shield of Mississippi
Foundation for taking this leadership role to bring programming
to Lowndes County.”
Kristin Mamrack is a staff reporter for The Commercial Dispatch.