MOUNT VERNON, N.Y. – With the help of a generous grant from Project Fit America, Mount Vernon children began enjoying a new playground and fitness equipment at Traphagen Elementary School this week.
Project Fit America, a non-profit charity that stresses fitness in education, donated nearly $18,000 of indoor and outdoor equipment as part of a two-year program intended to promote healthy, active children in local schools.
The Mount Vernon School District is teaming with Project Fit America and NewYork-Presbyterian/Lawrence Hospital in Bronxville to integrate a “Fitness Forward” program into the existing curriculum.
As part of this program, the district will track the children’s fitness improvements over a two-year basis with tests in the fall and spring. Traphagen is the first Westchester County school to be chosen as a pilot program.
Project Fit America is providing Traphagen with a state-of-the-art outdoor and above ground fitness equipment, as well as 1,000 fitness cups that can be used for teamwork and mental challenges for the children. One of the organization’s teachers will be assigned to the school to work hands on with gym teachers. The curriculum will be overhauled and the school will be provided with various items that can be used to help innovate a lesson.
According to a Project Fit America statement announcing the partnership, “the program is designed to be a permanent program in each school developed, as the need to get children fit will never diminish. (We) will work to fully train the teaching staff and integrate the program in the school curriculum.”
Principal Ilene Bichler said that Project Fit America will benefit both current and future students at Traphagen.
“It is vital that we find creative ways to capture a child’s imagination and energy through authentic learning experiences,” she said. “The integration of Project Fit America supports Traphagen’s mission to educate youngsters on the importance of embracing a healthy balance of exercise, proper nutrition and classroom success.”
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