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Southold, PBMC unveil exercise facility as part of Project Fit

10/25/2019 5:58 AM |

Southold Union Free School District and Peconic Bay Medical Center officials unveiled a new “fit pit” at Southold Elementary School Wednesday.

The new exercise facility is part of Project Fit America’s fitness education program. The outdoor equipment, training tools and curriculum for teachers was brought to the school through a $25,000 grant from PBMC.

Southold Elementary School principal Ellen O’Neill thanked both organizations, and coaches Peter Salerno and John Palmeri for their commitment to physical education.

“Our coaches are amazing,” Ms. O’Neill said, “and having Project Fit equipment is going to make our phys ed department and program a whole lot better.”

PBMC deputy executive director Amy Loeb said the hospital aims to reduce the number of patients who enter.

“How you do that is by being healthy — and being healthy starts now for all you kids,” she said.

Ms. O’Neill, Mr. Salerno and Mr. Palmeri cut a ribbon which formally unveiled the new facility. Students from both teacher’s physical education classes demonstrated how to use the new equipment.

Public use of the equipment is encouraged, Ms. O’Neill said.

“This is not just for during the school day,” Ms. O’Neill said. “Feel free to bring your relatives and friends and show them how to use the equipment and get some exercise in while you can.”

In 2013, PBMC spearheaded the initiative to bring Project Fit America to New York State and made Riverhead Central School District the first of its kind in the state.

In June 2018, PBMC officials surprised the school with an announcement that they had won the sponsorship.

See more photos below:

Southold Elementary School principal Ellen O’Neill and coaches Peter Salerno and John Palmeri cut a ribbon to formally unveil the new facility Wednesday.

Southold Elementary School students Connie Benson and Lindsay Zaffino present a thank-you note to Peconic Bay Medical Center public relations and community outreach manager Olivia Basaly, PBMC deputy executive director Amy Loeb and elementary school physical education teacher Peter Salerno Wednesday for their efforts to bring the Project Fit facility to Southold.

Southold Elementary School physical education teacher Peter Salerno speaks about the benefits of the new equipment.

Southold Elementary School students and teachers crowd around the new Project Fit America “fit pit,” a nickname given to the facility by school faculty.

Southold Elementary School students from Peter Salerno and John Palmeri’s physical education classes demonstrate how to use the new exercise equipment.

Students from Mr. Salerno and Mr. Palmeri’s physical education classes and school teachers gather at the new facility Wednesday.

A Southold Elementary School student swings across metal monkey bars Wednesday. The equipment is part of the new Project Fit America equipment.

Southold Elementary School students perform a step-up exercise on the new playground Wednesday.

The new exercise facility, unveiled Wednesday, is part of Project Fit America’s fitness education program. The outdoor equipment, training tools and curriculum for teachers was brought to the school through a $25,000 grant from Peconic Bay Medical Center.

Students raise their hands after Southold Elementary School principal Ellen O’Neill asks if they have used the new exercise equipment Wednesday.

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