William Marlow / Managing Editor
Alabama schools have partnered with the National Foundation for Governors’ Fitness Councils or NFGFC to help fight childhood obesity in the state, according to a press release. The council will award three Alabama schools each $100,000, which will go toward the construction of fitness centers.
Chairman of NFGFC, Jake Steinfeld, selected Alabama for the Councils’ 2020 DON’T QUIT! Campaign. In order to qualify, elementary and middle schools across the state will submit applications over the next month and a half. The official deadline for applications is March 20, 2020, according to the press release.
Alabama Governor Kay Ivey said childhood obesity remains a major health crisis for Alabama’s children and said she supports these programs and encouraged every Alabama school to apply.
“I’m a strong proponent of doing everything you can to live a healthy lifestyle,” Ivey said. “Jake Steinfeld and the National Foundation for Governors’ Fitness Councils DON’T QUIT! Campaign is a brilliant idea that puts our children on the path to good health. I hope every elementary and middle school in Alabama takes a few minutes to fill out the application or film a short video demonstrating why your schools deserves a new fitness center. It’s fun, simple and a great opportunity to help our children get excited about getting fit!”
Jake Steinfeld said he appreciated Ivey’s support and believes this is a non-partisan issue.
“Childhood obesity is a serious problem that can follow a child into adulthood. I’ve declared war on this preventable disease and it’s inspiring to see elected leaders like Governor Kay Ivey immediately jump on board to join the battle and welcome us into the great state of Alabama,” Steinfeld said. “Every governor we’ve partnered with recognizes that obesity is neither a Democratic nor Republican issue, it’s a kids’ issue and all have vowed to do everything possible to help.”
According to Steinfeld, the DON’T QUIT! Campaign has already expanded to 32 other states and Alabama is the latest to join this fight. Steinfeld said that communities have responded positively to the program and that it has helped children and parents incorporate exercise into their daily routines. Besides better physical health, Steinfeld said exercise has been linked to higher self-esteem and better grades.
“So far we’ve delivered DON’T QUIT! Fitness Centers to 32 states and Washington, D.C. and the response from students, teachers, and communities has been unbelievable,”Steinfeld said. “Kids are excited about working out and being physically active and, as a result, their academic performance and self-esteem have skyrocketed. Now, Alabama schools have an opportunity to make a change that will have a lasting impact on kids well into their future.”
Over the next few years, Steinfeld said he hopes to expand the DON’T QUIT! Campaign to all 50 states and partner with companies across America to help build fitness centers for every school in the country.
“I have witnessed firsthand the positive impact fitness centers have had on students and their communities. When you provide schools with the tools and inspiration, you’ll be amazed by the changes that take place,” Steinfeld said. “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.”