proj-fit-amerMADISONVILLE, Ky. (8/21/14) — Three local elementary schools have been awarded grants from Baptist Health Madisonville to launch Project Fit America, a fitness program aimed at reducing childhood obesity and increasing physical activity for all levels of students.

Longest Elementary School in Greenville, Sinking Fork Elementary in Hopkinsville and West Broadway Elementary School in Madisonville have each been awarded a $16,500 grant from Baptist Health for indoor and outdoor fitness equipment, teacher training and curriculum materials.

In-service events were held this week at each school to provide training for the physical education teachers that will be responsible for the program at each location, and the outdoor playground equipment is currently being installed. Formal Kick-off events will be held in late September and early October at each facility.

Longest Elementary School Physical Education teacher Anne Heltsley said the school is excited to partner with Baptist Health and Project Fit America.

"The Project Fit America program is going to be the best asset for overall health and wellness that our school has ever experienced. On the initial training day, we have already witnessed incredible results. Our students are excited about the certificates and the rewards that the program offers. Many students have already set very high individual goals that they hope to achieve for themselves," Heltsley stated. "My students participated in cross-curricular games that helped them use teamwork, communication and cooperation in every activity. They integrated science, reading and math into being physically active and having fun."

Mike Baumgartner, Baptist Health Madisonville president, believes the program exemplifies Baptist Health's focus on health and wellness at a time when obesity and its related conditions, such as diabetes, are among Kentucky's greatest health risks.

"Project Fit America is a wonderful partnership with our schools to help these students formulate healthy habits now that will carry over into a healthy adulthood," Baumgartner said. "Seeing this program in person, and the fun that the students were having gave me great hope that this program is going to make a difference now and into the future. Every child is engaged, no matter what their physical abilities have been, and will experience tremendous pride and growth through this program that will benefit the entire community."

West Broadway Physical Education teacher Melanie Duff said her students were loving the new program. "It is amazing to watch Project Fit America in action. My kids do not even realize how much they are exercising, because they are busy having so much fun together."

Similar sentiments are being echoed at Sinking Fork Elementary School according to Physical Education teacher Rusty Goble. "The staff and students of Sinking Fork are so excited for this rare opportunity to enhance all of our student's wellness. To me, physical education is one of the most important classes a student will ever be a part of," Goble stated. "No matter what you want to choose as a profession, if you are not healthy you are not happy. Receiving this grant from Baptist Health and Project Fit America will help Sinking Fork have the best program and equipment in our district."

For Baptist Health the goal is that lives will be changed, new habits will be created, and our communities will be engaged in these types of healthy programs that can change the look of healthcare for Kentucky in the future.

Baptist Health Madisonville is part of the Baptist Health family of hospitals and physicians, one of the largest not-for-profit healthcare systems in Kentucky. Baptist Health Madisonville proudly serves western Kentucky residents with eight locations to meet the needs of Kentuckians close to home. As an integrated health provider, it includes 100 primary care and specialist physicians, a 410-bed hospital with a state-of-the-art 20-bed Critical Care Unit and 10-bed Observation Unit, an Education and Research Division with a Family Medicine Residency, award-winning Women's Health, advanced Cancer Care and a progressive Heart & Vascular Center. Guided by a values-based culture to deliver clinical and service excellence consistently, Baptist Health Madisonville strives for excellent care, every time.

Project Fit American is a national nonprofit organization that creates sustainable and innovative broad based fitness programs in schools. PFA programming includes state-of-the-art outdoor fitness equipment specifically designed to address the deficit areas where children fail fitness tests; indoor fitness equipment; a dynamic curriculum with games, activities and challenges; on-site teacher training and in-class instruction on subjects such as smoking intervention, nutrition and understanding your body. PFA is in its 24th year of working with schools in nearly 900 schools in over 300 cities in 45 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, visit http://www.projectfitamerica.org.

SurfKY News
Information provided by Kristy Quinn

LIKE SurfKY on Facebook - Click here to LIKE us now.

© Copyright 2015 SurfKY News Group, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, or rewritten without permission. SurfKY News encourages you to share this story on social media.

In Other News...

Madisonville Police Arrest Reports - March 27, 2015

MADISONVILLE, Ky. (3/27/15) — The Madisonville Police Department released the following reports Friday, March 27.… Read More

Utility Tax Petition Signatures Put Choice before Voters; Board to Wait for November Election

GREENVILLE, Ky. (3/27/15) — The Muhlenberg County Clerk's office has completed the certification of Muhlenberg County… Read More

Most Read This Week

March 25, 2015 5127

Fazoli's, Roses Coming to Madisonville

by Amber Averitt, SurfKY News
March 24, 2015 4974

One Dies, Another Injured in Mortons Gap Traffic…

by Deputy Heath Owens
March 25, 2015 4898

Grand Jury Finds No Criminal Wrongdoing in Bean…

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
March 27, 2015 4855

Three Arrested during Execution of Search…

by Madisonville Police Department/Hopkins County Detention Center
March 24, 2015 4105

UPDATE: One Injured in Hopkinsville Road Accident

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
March 25, 2015 3839

Madisonville Man's Living Room Leap Lands Him in…

by Madisonville Police Department / Hopkins County Detention Center

Most Read This Month

March 09, 2015 13090

Multi-Agency Drug Bust Results in $1 Million Meth…

by KSP DESI
March 02, 2015 11439

Madisonville Teen Faces Numerous Drug Charges

by Madisonville Police Department/Hopkins County Detention Center

Stories Trending Today

March 27, 2015 4855

Three Arrested during Execution of Search…

by Madisonville Police Department/Hopkins County Detention Center
March 27, 2015 2021

MPD Searching for Man Accused of Nearly Running…

by Madisonville Police Department
March 27, 2015 1550

Family Loses Possessions, Dog in Sugg Street Fire

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
March 27, 2015 1219

Hopkins Grand Jury Indictments Handed Down

by Karen McKnight
March 27, 2015 1107

Rehabber Explains Her Mission; Efforts Filmed by…

by Ron Sanders
March 28, 2015 1065

Juvenile Arrested for Cruelty to Animals

by Hopkins County Sheriff's Office
March 27, 2015 1003

Hopkins County Health Department Food Scores Thru…

by Barry Franklin
March 27, 2015 853

Madisonville Police Arrest Reports - March 27,…

by Madisonville Police Department
March 27, 2015 792

Sheriff Explains Numerous Duties of Office,…

by Ron Sanders
March 27, 2015 753

Work Continues on Madisonville's Downtown Plaza

by Rita Dukes Smith, SurfKY News Director