Students at Woodson K–8 are exercising their bodies as well as their brains thanks to a brand-new, state-of-the-art fitness center awarded to them by the National Foundation for Governors’ Fitness Councils (NFGFC) and funded in part by Coca-Cola and Nike. The Live Positively fitness center was awarded to approximately three schools in each state for showing innovation in their fitness and nutrition programs.
“I was a fat kid with a stutter growing up, and my dad bought me a set of weights.” said Jake ‘Body By Jake’ Steinfeld, chairman and spokesperson for the program. “Not only did weights build my body, but they built my confidence and self-esteem.”
Studies have shown that physical activity improves academic achievement and reduces discipline problems and absenteeism. The NFGFC hopes to build a nation of the fittest, healthiest kids in the world.
In total, $100,000 worth of kid-sized cardio machines, weights, strength training and other exercise equipment awaited the students on Oct. 12, who enthusiastically took guidance from their celebrity fitness trainer for the day. There was even a special area for the kids who might find it harder to unplug.
“It’s awesome!” said sixth-grader Amarie Wilson. “They have an Xbox One. It [the game Dance, Dance Revolution] helps with your calf muscles because you have to move your feet a lot.”
Board of Education member Wanda Adams noted that where access to a gym or grocery store is harder to obtain, resources like this are particularly appreciated.
“When you feel good about you,” said Steinfeld, “it’s amazing to see what you can accomplish in your life.”