Governor Dannel P. Malloy today announced that fitness icon, Jake Steinfeld, Chair of the National Foundation for Governors' Fitness Councils, is bringing the Foundation's multi-million dollar physical fitness campaign to Connecticut help combat childhood obesity. The campaign encourages and rewards innovation in the field of youth fitness by awarding fitness centers to elementary and middle schools that use new and unique methods to promote student physical activity and wellness.
The nomination process opens today at www.natgovfit.org and will run through the end of May. Three Alliance District schools, selected by the National Foundation, will be deemed National Champion Schools and will each be awarded $100,000 state-of-the-art Live PositivelyTM Fitness Centers for their efforts.
"Childhood obesity is a problem that we must address, not just in Connecticut but across the country," said Governor Malloy. "This program provides a great opportunity for all elementary and middle schools in the state to introduce innovative ideas for improving physical fitness. While only three schools will win a new fitness center, all participating schools will set our children on the right path to fitness -- and that's a win for everyone. I'm honored to partner with Jake Steinfeld to bring the National Champion Schools campaign to Connecticut schools."
"Our obligation is to ensure not only our youngsters' academic fitness but also their physical fitness. This campaign will help some of our schools to strengthen their students' physical health and wellness," said State Department of Education Commissioner Stefan Pryor. "We are grateful to Governor Malloy and the National Foundation for Governor's Fitness Councils for bringing this opportunity to Connecticut's schools and students."
The National Foundation for Governors' Fitness Councils program will make its way into all 50 states in the coming years. What sets it apart from other initiatives is that it does not rely on taxpayer dollars or state funding. Each fitness center is financed through a public/private sector partnership. The National Foundation's goal is to build a nation of the fittest, healthiest kids in the world.
"Our National Champion Schools campaign has been well received all around the country and I'm looking forward to working with Governor Malloy to make this campaign a great success in Connecticut. When you take action such as putting fitness centers in schools, you'll be amazed by what happens," said Jake Steinfeld. "I've always said that academics and fitness go hand in hand and by giving schools the tools, we can build strong bodies and minds while boosting confidence, self-esteem and focus in the classroom. By placing fitness centers in elementary and middle schools, we are certain to see positive, healthy changes. Our children are our most precious resource and by providing them with a strong foundation in health and fitness, we can feel confident that they'll excel beyond their wildest dreams."
Physical activity and exercise are shown to help prevent and treat more than 40 chronic diseases, enhance individual health and quality of life and reduce health care costs. In schools, studies show that physical activity improves academic achievement, increases confidence and self-esteem, reduces discipline problems, cuts absenteeism and fosters better interpersonal relationships.
For more information about the National Foundation or to download a nomination form, visit www.natgovfit.org.
About the National Foundation for Governors' Fitness Councils
The National Foundation seeks to encourage and reward innovation in the field of youth fitness by awarding fitness centers to schools that use new and unique methods to promote student physical activity and wellness. The National Foundation envisions a fitness center in every school in the U.S., helping to build a nation that--through innovation and a "Don't Quit" attitude--boasts the fittest kids in the world.