PADUCAH, KY (KFVS) - Three Graves County elementary schools are getting a boost in their fight against childhood obesity with the launch of new fitness programs on November 20. The programs, part of Project Fit America, are provided through Baptist Health and funded by three grants from a generous Baptist Health donor.
The Symsonia, Lowes and Wingo schools have received indoor and outdoor fitness equipment, teacher training and curriculum materials. The school principals are excited about the new programs and believe they will do wonders not only for the students, but also the community as a whole.
"The more active students are, the better the test scores, fewer school days missed and less discipline problems," said Symsonia principal Alison Gregory.
"Our school is the engine of our community," said Lowes principal Ryan Marchetti. "We are not only a school, but also we are the local playground and the community center."
"Hopefully this starts a domino effect in our school and our community with healthier students bringing positive energy, which fuels the teachers and radiates through the community," said Wingo principal Scott Bradley. "We hope to thrive like never before!"
"Baptist Health is pleased to expand this fitness program into three new school communities of children, staff and families to build good lifelong habits for healthy lifestyles," said Chris Roty, Baptist Health Paducah interim president. "We are especially thankful this year for the grant to be provided by one of our donors, who wishes to remain anonymous, but who obviously loves children and supports our mission of good health."
The three schools bring to 15 the total number of schools receiving the Baptist Health fitness grants over the last decade. Paducah's McNabb Elementary and Graves County's Central Elementary were awarded the program in 2007; Lone Oak Elementary, 2009; Concord Elementary, 2011; Clark Elementary, 2012; Benton Elementary, 2013; Calvert City Elementary and East Calloway Elementary, 2014; Morgan Elementary, Heath Elementary and Reidland Intermediate, 2015; and Hendron-Lone Oak Elementary, 2016.
Project Fit America is a national nonprofit organization that creates sustainable and innovative broad based fitness programs in schools. It is in its 28th year of working with schools in more than 1,100 schools in over 300 cities in 46 states. For more information, visit www.projectfitamerica.org.