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Bowie Elementary joins Project Fit America

Oct 20, 2016 | Community Relations
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Lamar CISD teachers, administrators and students were on hand Wednesday to celebrate the launch of Project Fit America at Bowie Elementary. 

Representatives of Memorial Hermann Community Benefit Corporation (MHCBC) were also in attendance for the event. Memorial Hermann funded the grant that brought $20,000 of indoor and outdoor exercise equipment to the Rosenberg school.

“This is a great partnership between Memorial Hermann, Project Fit America and the Lamar Consolidated School District,” said Carol Paret, Senior Vice President and Chief Community Health Officer at MHCBC, “because it is about getting children active and moving. We’re seeing more and more children who are inactive and living sedentary lifestyles. This can lead to obesity and other health issues down the road. As a healthcare provider, we want to address this issue on the front end by encouraging exercise as well as healthy eating and life habits to prevent these children from acquiring chronic illnesses like diabetes, high blood pressure or heart problems as they age.”

The celebration of fitness included a ribbon-cutting and students demonstrating exercises on the school’s new outdoor fitness equipment.

“Lamar CISD believes in educating the whole child, both physically and mentally,” said Superintendent Dr. Thomas Randle. “A healthy body helps build a healthy mind.”

“Everyone at Bowie is excited about this new program,” said Bowie Elementary Principal Belynda Billings. “Especially the students. Some of the younger ones don’t realize that is actually good for them. They think it is just a new way to play and that’s what we are excited about.”

All Bowie students have been taught how to use the outdoor equipment and how the activity benefits their bodies, said physical education teacher Jessica Risien. The PFA curriculum, including indoor and outdoor activity, addresses fitness areas such as upper body strength, coordination, flexibility and more. 

The initiative goes beyond traditional fitness, she said, and is also is helping them build social skills, character and leadership skills.  

“This is not your average gym class, Risien said. “The activities are both fun and intense.”

The PFA program includes: 

• State-of-the-art fitness equipment specifically designed to address the deficit areas; 
• Indoor fitness equipment; and
• A dynamic curriculum with games, activities and challenges for kids.

The program teaches character development, sportsmanship, teamwork and leadership skills. The academic emphasis is to create “physically educated” children empowered to take personal responsibility of their health. PFA also provides support to the schools for two years, along with on-site training with the PE Teacher.

“Research shows not only is physical education important for a child’s physical development, it actually helps kids with reading and math,” said Stacey Cook, Executive Director of PFA. “Physically active kids are better learners. Quality fitness in education has a direct impact not only a child’s health but their academic success.” 

We are extremely grateful to Memorial Hermann for their commitment in bringing this program to the community and for their dedication to improving the health and wellness of children,” Cook said.

The outdoor exercise equipment will be available to the general public when school is not in session.