Students at Lincoln Center of the Arts spent the morning enjoying a $100-thousand, new fitness center installed in the school’s basement.
It was donated by the National Foundation for Governors’ Fitness Councils, which credited Coca-Cola, Nike and Anthem for much of the funding.
Jake Steinfeld, Chairman of the NFGFC, said it’s important to get kids working out in middle and elementary school.
“If you get them excited about fitness at an early age, it’s amazing to see what happens. It becomes fun and part of their lives,” Steinfeld said.
He said roughly 100 schools in Wisconsin applied for one of the three fitness centers the organization donated. Steinfeld said the factors taken into consideration when choosing the schools included the physical education curriculum currently in place and the teacher and parent involvement in keeping kids healthy.
“We wanted to make sure there’s a community around that supports the school,” he said.
Students said having new, state of the art equipment in the basement of the school building makes it easier to stay in shape.
“It’s easier for kids to exercise because a lot of them can’t go to the gym. That requires a pay membership,” said 9th grader Chloe Johnson, a former student at Lincoln Center of the Arts. "This is free. It’s way easier."
"We have a lot of students that have health issues, whether it be asthma, obesity," said Principal Ramon Evans, of Lincoln Center of the Arts. "So this will definitely help make sure our students are healthy."
The school plans to eventually open up the fitness center to the general public, for free, after school hours. Kids can work out during the school day.
The two other schools chosen to receive fitness centers from NFGFC were Badger Elementary School in Appleton and Washington Middle School in Kenosha.