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Project Fit America kicking off in Greenport schools

06/22/2016 12:35 PM |

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The Greenport School District was recently awarded a grant worth up to $60,000 from Project Fit America, a nonprofit organization that “creates and administers exemplary fitness in education programming in elementary and middle schools,” according to its website.

The grant comes with a PFA trainer who will work with Greenport’s physical education teachers to establish a Project Fit program for students in grades K-8. This will include adding indoor and outdoor fitness equipment and curriculum books and creating lesson plans necessary to implement the program.

Established in 1990, PFA has awarded grants to more than 1,000 schools over the past 26 years. Greenport is the third district in New York State to receive such a grant. The other two are Traphagen Elementary School in Mt. Vernon and all five elementary schools in the Riverhead School District.

Later this year, PBMC Health Foundation, JABS Fitness and the Mattituck Lions Club will partner with the Greenport School District for its Opening Day Kick Off and Dedication Ceremony.

Lucy Senesac, a farmer at Sang Lee Farms in Peconic, spoke to the Board of Education Tuesday about plans for a new school garden, which is possible through a $10,000 grant the district received last month from Seeds of Change.

In addition to working at Sang Lee Farms, Ms. Senesac works with North Fork schools to help curate their gardens and develop educational programs. She said no official plans have been made for Greenport’s garden yet, but she and Superintendent David Gamberg are considering placing it in front of the school and nearly doubling it in size to 25-by-40 feet. Ms. Senesac said that in order to plant next spring, work on the garden would need to begin this fall.

Mr. Gamberg said the larger proposed garden is a concept that goes hand-in-hand with Project Fit America by continuing to promote a healthy lifestyle — especially since the district’s goal is to eventually serve students food grown in the school garden.

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File photo credit: Greenport School District

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