Kids get fit

Students at Coyote Ridge Elementary School receive new playground fitness equipment as part of Project Fit America
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Students at Coyote Ridge Elementary School now have an outdoor sit-up bench, step-up equipment for aerobics and a horizontal ladder on campus. But that’s not all. These Roseville students can play on their new parallel bars, pull-up bars, vault bar and climbing pole, during the course of a typical school day. The equipment is designed to improve upper and lower body strength and endurance in kids. The school recently became the recipient of the equipment through Project Fit America, a nonprofit organization that promotes healthy living and fitness in youth. Sutter Roseville Medical Center and Sutter Auburn Faith Hospital provided the funds to purchase the playground equipment and gear the children will use to perform Project Fit exercises and drills. Coyote Ridge Elementary School held a kick-off event Wednesday, April 21, to officially open the program at the school. Guest speakers included Roseville Mayor Gina Garbolino and Dry Creek Joint Elementary School District Superintendent Mark Geyer. “Physical education and fitness-related activities continue to be cut or poorly funded, at a time when childhood obesity and related illnesses are at epidemic levels,” said Project Fit Executive Director Stacey Cook. Earlier this year, First Lady Michelle Obama launched the “Let’s Move” campaign to end childhood obesity in the United States. The campaign focuses on the importance of nutrition and exercise, improved quality of food in school-lunch programs, making healthy food more affordable and physical education in schools. During her February announcement, Obama said that one in three kids is overweight or obese, and this country spends $150 billion a year to treat obesity-related illnesses. The Project Fit equipment will help the students at Coyote Ridge achieve a healthier lifestyle. The program includes classroom instruction on health subjects, such as smoking intervention, nutrition and understanding the human body. As part of the program’s curriculum, kids participate in fitness activities, such as paddleball, jump-rope contests and a hoola-hoop challenge. They also do exercises, including sit-ups, push-ups and jumping jacks. With Sutter’s help, Project Fit has implemented its health and fitness program in several Roseville, Auburn and Sacramento schools. Nationwide, the program operates in more than 500 schools in 42 states. Hospitals and health care organizations have contributed more than $6 million to Project Fit programs. ~ Sena Christian