Officials from Baptist Health Corbin joined faculty, staff and students at Oak Grove Elementary School Thursday to dedicate the Project Fit America equipment.
“Project Fit America is a wonderful addition to the Oak Grove PE program,” said Physical Education Teacher Gina Conley, who is overseeing the program at the school.
“The students are more excited. I can’t wait to see their amazing results.”
Baptist Health Corbin, which had previously provided grants to four other area schools to fund the purchase of the equipment and training in the Project Fit America program, selected Oak Grove along with Wyan Pine Grove Elementary School in Laurel County to be the next two school to receive the $27,400 grant.
“We are excited to have you join our program,” said Sherrie Mays, Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer at the hospital.
Oak Grove Principal Tonya Faulkner said previously that she and her staff elected to pursue the grant because of its ability to provide the best use of the limited time students have to recess and PE classes.
“More and more is required of our students in the classroom,” Faulkner said. “We have a small amount of time for them to go out and play.”
In addition to the traditional competition within the school, Mays announced that a “Ninja Warrior” style competition will be held in the spring.
Students from the six local Project Fit America schools, which also include Corbin Intermediate and Middle, Lynn Camp Elementary and Williamsburg Independent, will compete in preliminary rounds at their respective schools for the right to go on to the finals.
Lee Richardson, Director of Development and Community Health Services for the hospital, said the students that qualify will be brought together at one of the schools where they will race through the course to determine who can complete the specially designed obstacle course in the shortest amount of time.
Richardson said officials are working to have one of the competitors from the “American Ninja Warrior” television show on hand for the event.
“We have some students from Union College and the University of the Cumberlands who had competed on the show as well,” Richardson said.
Richardson said the hospital would continue its efforts to provide the equipment and program to area schools. Like with Oak Grove, it will be up to faculty, staff and students at any particular school to show hospital officials the program will be beneficial to their schools.
“From here on out, we will have people put in a request for proposal to show us they are enthusiastic and want to be part of the program,” Richardson said.
Project Fit America is a non-profit organization founded in 1990. According to the organization’s website, www.projectfitamerica.org, the goal is to the help reverse the lack of fitness in youth and inspire them to participate in more fitness activities by helping them find something they are very good at.
As of 2016, Project Fit America is in almost 1,000 schools across the country.