Project Fit America Hosts Kick-Off Event at Elementary School
Western Maryland Health System and Maryland Physicians Care joined forces with Project Fit America (PFA) to create a model and pilot of innovative Fitness in Education at Flintstone Elementary School. This health and wellness program is designed to raise fitness test scores of children and teach lifetime fitness.
The kick-off event at Flintstone, held on Wednesday, October 17, 2012, unveiled the fitness program with a ribbon cutting ceremony as well as student demonstrations of a wide variety of activities.
The ribbon-cutting event featured a number of guest speakers and special presentations. The school received proclamations and citations from Governor O'Malley as well as Senator Mikulski. Bringing remarks were Dr. David Cox, Superintendent of Schools; Mike Mason, MSDE; Dr. Mary Kay Finan, Maryland State Board of Education; Betsey Hurwitz Schwab, Board of Directors for WMHS; Dr. Ed Root, elected Board of Education of Allegany County; and Dr. Ray Kiddy, Supervisor of PE for the school system. Special guests included Aaron Laffey, pitcher for the Toronto Blue Jays; and the Hagerstown Sun mascot.
According to Flintstone’s principal, Sharon Morgan, “We are thrilled to be selected as the first public school in Maryland to be part of Project Fit America.” She went on to say, “The staff and students are appreciative of the efforts of Western Maryland Health System in bringing the program to us. It will be exciting to see how the program evolves during the next two years.”
Project Fit America is a national nonprofit organization that creates sustainable and innovative PE programs in schools. PFA programming includes state-of-the-art outdoor fitness equipment that is specifically designed to address the deficit areas where children fail fitness tests as well as providing outdoor fitness equipment.
“61.5% of American children get no physical activity outside the school day which is why we applaud Western Maryland Health System and Maryland Physicians Care for taking this leadership role to help kids in schools become more fit and healthy,” said PFA’s Executive Director, Stacey Cook.
PFA offers a dynamic curriculum of fitness games and challenges that go hand in glove with the outdoor equipment, on-site teacher training and in-class instruction on subjects such as smoking intervention, nutrition, and understanding your body. Students are expected not to just become smarter as a result of going to school, but healthier too.
“The students are already setting goals for themselves,” stated Flintstone PE teacher, Jeanette Rinehart. "After 28 years of teaching, Project Fit America has given me a renewed enthusiasm for teaching my students about lifetime fitness.”
PFA is in their 22nd year of working with schools in over 800 schools in 300 cities in 42 states. Schools report increased motivation, participation and physical improvements in their students along with parents and faculty becoming more involved in choosing fitness activities over sedentary lifestyle habits. For more information on Project Fit America, visit www.projectfitamerica.org.