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.