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Hamilton awarded grant for fitness program

Encouraging lifelong physical fitness and good nutrition is the focus of a program that Hamilton School District students will experience, thanks to a $230,851 Carol M. White Physical Education Program grant. The U.S. Department of Education grant will fund “Fitrition – Bridging the Gap Between Fitness, Nutrition and a Healthy Lifestyle.” The program is the inspiration of Hamilton fitness education teachers Kathy Block and Jerry Cilbulka who want to turn the tide of young people who are increasingly overweight and obese because of poor nutrition choices and lack of exercise.

Block, the project director, and Cilbulka collaborated on the proposal that will provide more than $216,000 worth of exercise equipment at the high school to build core body strength, increase cardiovascular training and provide individual feedback. Students will be able to use the equipment as part of their fitness education classes and before school, during advisement and after school. Block is the project director.

The remainder of the grant will be used primarily for staff development among fitness education teachers throughout the district. The state-of-the-art program will create an integrated functional training program from kindergarten through grade twelve that aligns with state standards.

The program, part of the No Child Left Behind Act, provides grants to local school districts and community-based organizations to initiate, expand or improve physical education programs for students in grades K-12. This year, the program awarded 237 new grants worth nearly $69 million.