Nonprofit headed by Jake Steinfeld to build fitness centers in schools in four U.S. cities in 2012
WASHINGTON – Whoops and hollers greeted the announcement that Capital City Public Charter School will receive the first of three Live Positively fitness centers to be built in Washington, D.C. schools. Jake Steinfeld made the announcement in a program where students also heard about the importance of healthy lifestyles from Mayor Vincent Gray and U.S. Surgeon General Regina Benjamin, M.D., M.B.A.
“We’re giving schools the tools to help this generation of kids grow up healthy and fit,” said Steinfeld, chairman of the National Foundation for Governor’s Fitness Councils. “We’re bringing fully funded fitness centers to schools that need them, so these kids will be ready to learn and lead.” Through the Foundation, Steinfeld, founder of Body by Jake Global, Major League Lacrosse, FitTV and FitOrbit, is taking nationally the program he started as chairman of the California Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports.
Along with the news that their school will receive a fitness center this spring, students at Capital City Public Charter School got the word on fitness and learning from the U.S. Surgeon General. “There is a clear connection between physical activity and academic achievement," said Dr. Benjamin. "We know that exercise and good nutrition have a direct effect on health and learning at any age. It’s important that we give children the opportunity and environment to get daily exercise, to eat well, to grow, to learn and to have fun.”
D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray lauded the program, which will build fitness centers at Capital City and two other District schools to be identified. “This enhances the culture of wellness and inquiry that go hand-in-hand at Capital City Public Charter School,” he said. “Particularly in times of economic challenges, public/private partnerships are making possible the kinds of facilities and programming that will ensure that American students are healthy, well-prepared and competitive.”
Karen Dresden, Head of School for Capital City, noted that the timing of the new fitness center fits perfectly with the planning and timeline for the school's expansion. "Capital City Public Charter School embraces health, fitness and wellness as part of its curriculum and culture," she said. "We have a new campus under construction. This grant will allow us to have the resources to fully support our students in establishing healthy habits for life. We're so excited and grateful!"
The Coca-Cola Company has provided funding for the Foundation to build Live Positively fitness centers in selected schools across the U.S., beginning in 2012 with three each in Boston, Philadelphia, New York and Washington, D.C.
The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) is the lead partner for the National Foundation for Governor’s Fitness Councils. Jim Whitehead, CEO, said, “ACSM will work with the Foundation to build and dedicate fitness centers in schools across the country and to share the most promising, innovative ideas for promoting physical activity and good nutrition among young people. The science shows that exercise truly is medicine, and the Foundation is putting that into practice by giving American students the means to develop lifelong habits of health and fitness.”
In coming months, the Foundation will work with the governors of Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and New York to identify schools that will receive fitness centers and healthy gardens in 2012.
The National Foundation for Governor’s Fitness Councils identifies and supports innovative ideas that promote physical activity and fitness for children in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The Foundation recognizes innovation by awarding fitness centers and healthy gardens to schools that employ new and unique methods to promote physical activity and good nutrition among students.