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Bloomington Elementary Schools Show Off New 'Project Fit' Equipment

At Oakland Elementary School, students are buzzing about their newest fitness equipment.
BLOOMINGTON - Gym class is the favorite part of school for many elementary school students. Now, two Bloomington schools will get the chance to make gym class even healthier.

At Oakland Elementary School, students are buzzing about their newest fitness equipment.

"The fitness center and other fitness training that Project Fit America has provided has taken fitness to the next level," said Lauren Carley, a fifth grader at Oakland.

Not only do the students say this is a step up for them with their new playground fitness equipment, but they've also got something for when they go home a new jump rope.

As part of a Project Fit America, Oakland and Benjamin elementary schools both received an $18,000 grant for this new equipment and curriculum to go with it.  The city installed the equipment late in the summer and showed it off to the public Thursday.  Students have had a couple chances to try it out and they're already eying the record books.

"There's always a line there and I think it's going to be great having everybody try to break that record. It definitely motivates us," said Paige Gardner, a fifth grader at Oakland.

"But the most exciting part of that is not the person who does the most, but encouraging children to break their own records, to challenge themselves to grow," said Dr, Mary Kay Scharf, principal at Oakland.

While the students look to challenge themselves on the course, their principal sees an even bigger purpose, getting kids involved in habits that'll last a lifetime.

"It'll prevent future generations of diabetes, of heart disease, any host of things can really be addressed long-term if we get more kids to be active now and doing that for the rest of their lives," said Chad Boore, president of OSF St. Joseph Medical in Bloomington.

OSF hopes that the program can continue to add more schools in the future.
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